In Orange County 3,480 children were food insecure in 2018. TABLE reports that the number of kids needing weekend meals continues to increase with more of kids receiving weekend meals for an extended time.
TABLE’s weekend meal backpack program provides weekend meals for food insecure kids who do not have access to school meals on the weekend. TABLE is currently providing bags of non-perishables, fresh fruit, and fresh vegetables to more 650 kids. Until the pandemic, TABLE partnered with 30 schools and afterschool programs to help distribute the food to the kids onsite. With the pandemic, volunteers sort and pack the food at TABLE’s facility and now deliver the food door to door to more than 400 households in Orange County.
By the first of the year, TABLE anticipates surpassing 700 children. The kids are now receiving 46% more food than previous years, which means more bags of food to be delivered to each household. TABLE is always in need of drivers to help make deliveries.
Your round up provides kid-friendly meals and snacks, including fresh fruit and vegetables. Every $15 rounded up provides $30 of nutritious food. Our goal for this year’s round up for TABLE is $97,500—that’s 10 weeks of backpack meals for 650 kids.
More than 43% of the 7,500 students attending Orange County elementary schools live at a poverty level that qualifies them for the free and reduced lunch program. Weaver Street partners with Orange County Schools to provide bags of healthy, fresh foods for kids at risk for hunger over school breaks when they do not have access to school meals. In 2019, through the Round Up campaign at the Hillsborough store, we provided fresh vegetables and fruits as well as healthy non-perishable foods. Each family also received coupons for Homeland Creamery milk, Cabot cheese and butter, Latta eggs, and Weaver Street bread.
The food is distributed to students at five OCS elementary schools: Central, Efland-Cheeks Global, Grady A. Brown, New Hope, and Pathways as well as students to AJ Stanback Middle School and Partnership Academy.