Last week, Weaver Street staff delivered two truckloads of fresh, healthy food to feed kids who are at a high risk for food insecurity over the two-week winter break, when they do not have access to free school meals. We want to share more about this piece of your Round Up donations in action.
Our food partnership with Orange County Schools (OCS) is built on community engagement
- In 2018, Hillsborough shoppers rounded up 118,000 times to raise $55,000 for food insecure kids at five elementary schools and an alternative high school. The funds will provide food for winter break, spring break, and summer break.
- For winter break, Weaver Street staff worked with farmers and producers to secure two weeks’ worth of healthy food for 432 kids at cost. We came in below cost because some of our vendors reduced their prices just for these kids.
- The food for the kids arrived at the schools in cases stacked high on 2 pallets per school! Social workers, staff, and volunteers greeted us at each school. They spent the morning organizing the food, sorting dairy and eggs into refrigerated bags, and weighing out packages of bulk dried beans, rice, and fresh green beans.
- Parents and family members arranged their schedules so that they could pick up the food at the schools.
When asked about the labor and coordination involved for the schools in sorting and packing the food, the OCS organizers described those activities as an intimate part of the food donation program. The staff know the kids and their families and want to contribute in a meaningful way.
The food the kids receive is getting healthier, more balanced, and more bountiful
- Families asked for more produce to include with their meals. This break we added bell peppers, green beans, and bananas.
- We wanted the families to have the fresh dairy and eggs needed for a balanced diet and for making meals. For the first time, we included Homeland Dairy milk, Latta eggs, Cabot butter, and Cabot cheese.
- The social workers requested the bulk items as an economical option rather than packaged food. The money saved enabled us to include more food.
- The kids shared that they loved the Field Day Organic O’s and Organic Instant Oatmeal packets. This summer they were excited to receive fresh blueberries and pears. We were told that the kids rarely get these fruit because apples are so much cheaper.
“The parents were just overwhelmed with joy and so thankful for all the healthy food items that will assist them feeding their children during the Winter Break! Thanks to Weaver Street, we are really making a difference with so many of our children who attend Orange County Schools. When students are out of school, this is a very critical time for them because breakfast and lunch are not always guaranteed.”
—Avis Barnes, Lead School Social Worker, Orange County Schools
Thank you all for contributing to our Round Up program! The food pantries at Orange Congregations in Mission in Hillsborough and Interfaith Council in Chapel Hill-Carrboro are the recipients of the Round Up funds through January 31, 2019.
Watch a video of James delivering the food, below.