By Ashton Tippins, Executive Director, TABLE
Nearly 30 percent of children in the Chapel Hill and Carrboro City School District are food insecure and rely on the National School Lunch program to eat. When schools close for summer, these children are at their greatest risk for hunger. To help alleviate this risk, TABLE is partnering with community organizations and businesses, such as Weaver Street Market, to continue to feed children living in Chapel Hill and Carrboro throughout the summer.
Over 10 weeks, TABLE will prepare 11 deliveries of bags of food to feed up to 525 children each week over the course of the summer. Deliveries will be made directly to the children across 35 sites in Chapel Hill and Carrboro including children’s homes, summer school locations, and summer camps. These deliveries will help to fill the gap for children when they are home on the weekends and unable to access the food they need.
To ensure TABLE’s bags are filled with the healthiest and freshest variety of food, TABLE is partnered with Weaver Street Market as part of their Round Up! Program. From May through October, 100 percent of funds received from Weaver Street Market’s Carrboro and Southern Village stores will help cover weekend meals for up to 525 kids and help make it possible for TABLE to pack and deliver approximately 4,875 bags over the 10 weeks of summer.
As TABLE does throughout the school year, the bags of food will be delivered every Thursday and have enough food to feed a child for the entire weekend. A typical bag will contain about 30 percent fresh food such as blueberries, apples, pears, and carrots. In addition, healthy non-perishables will be included such as pasta, canned tuna, chicken and rice soup, vegetable soup, peanut butter, oatmeal, and shelf-stable milk.
TABLE also considers children’s allergy, diet, and cultural preferences when assembling the bags. There will be two different menus of food to accommodate diet, culture, and food preferences and nearly 15 percent of bags will receive carefully selected food items to meet kids’ allergy or special diet needs.
Summer TABLE is also part of a greater community effort to ensure kids are fed seven days a week during the summer. This program, Food for Summer, is being led by the Town of Chapel Hill and kicks off on June 4th. You can find out more information about the program here.
Summer is supposed to be a time for kids to play, swim, and have fun with friends. The work TABLE is doing in partnership with the community will provide children with the energy they need to make fun summertime memories.