Dispatch from “Kids Bites” Children’s Initiative at Lowell Elementary
In September of 2012 Philabundance officially launched a Children’s Initiative, Kids Bites. Now six months into the pilot program, a partnership with Target’s Meals for Minds, hungry kids and families of Lowell Elementary are getting much needed nutritious foods to take home.
Each month families receive about 25 pounds of food, double that if they have three or more students enrolled at the school. The menu rotates, but 30% of the items are always seasonal fresh produce. Milk and 100% juice are always available, and the remaining non-perishable products vary with things like peanut butter and jelly, pasta, brown rice, cereal, canned fruits, vegetables, and meats when available. Participating families are checked-in and first timers are asked to fill out our standard self-declared registration form, and to answer a few survey questions regarding food security.
I arrive at the school along with a few Philabundance staff members and truck load of food. We rely on our amazing volunteers to help us set-up, load in the product, stock the tables, assist with food distribution, clean up and keep things moving. We often see a few new volunteer faces at each event, but we have quickly built a crew of regulars eager to help out and feed these hungry kids. Simply put, we couldn’t pull this work off without their dedication. Teachers, parents, community members and St. Paul’s church are just a few who deserve a shout out for their hard work and commitment to making this program such a success!
It has truly been an honor to run this exciting program, and to work with a remarkably steadfast team, volunteers, and partners. Bringing new resources to the students has definitely been a highlight – whether it’s free books, new recipes, or safety information – we always have something fresh. Every month I look forward to distribution day, excited to see the kids and the volunteers. We have such a great time; it’s hard to believe this is actually ‘work’.
Please come join me the third Thursday of every month from 2:30-5:30. Email [email protected] to get involved. I look forward to seeing you there!