More than 13 million (million!!) American children live in households with uncertain access to food which supports a healthy life.
Schoolchildren who qualify for free or reduced lunches get those lunches only on school days. On Friday afternoons, these kids are each given a Power Pack—a sack which looks like a lunch sack yet is filled to the rim with power food. These Power Packs are provided by Freestore Foodbank and dependent on volunteers to bag the power food for them.
Yesterday, Saturday, I joined other volunteers at the Freestore warehouse and together we bagged nearly 1,500 Power Packs! Fifteen hundred may sound like a lot, but in reality, it barely scratches the surface to keep Cincinnati area kids from going hungry over the weekend.
According to the Freestore Foodbank, these are the stats and how our volunteer work impacts the community:
- More than 13 million (million!!) American children live in households with uncertain access to food which supports a healthy life.
- Donated food items are provided by area grocery stores, local partnerships, and community members and stored at the warehouse for distribution.
- Volunteers—there were about forty of us in the ware house yesterday—we unloaded pallets of donated food and packed sacks—“Power Packs.”
- Our warehouse serves 105 sites across the greater metropolitan area of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, distributing these Power Packs to schools.
- These Power Packs are given to school children on Fridays so they can go home with power food to carry them over until the next school day, Monday.
Feeding America is the national association of affiliated food banks, which includes Freestore Foodbank. It is also the largest hunger relief organization, connecting community food pantries in every state of America.
Feeding America and Freestore Foodbank are dependent on volunteers. Another way to reach out with your volunteering support is to contact any soup kitchen, food bank or shelter local to you to find out what they need and how you can help.
Find your local food bank and who to contact for volunteering, based on your zip code.
The direct link to sign up for volunteering through Feeding America is at feedingamerica.org.
I hope you will join in the efforts to make our communities a better place for our children. Please share in the comments about your volunteer experience. Together, we can ensure a better tomorrow—Children are our future.
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