Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)
This program began after hearing reports of high school students leaving school or falling asleep in class due to not receiving any enough to eat. The schools we serve have many students who arrive at school having eaten very little since the previous day at lunch. We provide nonperishable items (such as protein bars and nutrition shakes) to be distributed to students in need throughout the school day. Our program allows students in need to discreetly obtain food items from the teachers or staff at school, so that they are equipped and energized to get through the day. The hope is that the School Fuel program will be a stepping stone to opening in school food banks for high school students.
Having just completed our first full year of this program, we received feedback from the school staff that many students are taking part in receiving the items we provide. We take just under 1,000 items a week and they never go to waste! Food for Hope was also able to provide extra snacks during testing weeks to ensure students weren't hungry while trying to concentrate on the task at hand. The principal reported at our fundraising dinner that students who need the food find comfort knowing that it is readily available, and are more likely to come to school and stay there with that incentive in place. We are also receiving requests for this program from additional schools in the area because they have heard of the success we are having at the 2 high schools we serve.
Food, Agriculture & Nutrition
Children ages 5 to 21
Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Each week over 600 food bags are packed with nutritious food, including vegetable, fruit, protein, grain, and breakfast items. These bags are delivered by volunteers to students and families at each of the 9 elementary schools we serve. The intention is to provide nutrition for the "gap" that exists on weekends or holidays when children are unable to receive food from school sources.
Due to community support, we have grown from serving one elementary school to six schools in only a few years. Teachers often share stories of students who look forward to Fridays because they know they will be receiving their food bags to take home. One child stated that receiving his bag was "like trick or treating in a rich neighborhood". We also received a thank you note from a student that said, "My mother wants me to tell you thank you. She said thanks to you guys our whole family got to eat." We cherish these instances as reasons we should continue our service to help children thrive amidst the challenges that face their families.
Food, Agriculture & Nutrition
Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)
Every year at Thanksgiving we pack boxes that include everything needed to assemble a holiday meal, including a turkey. Each box includes enough food to feed 4-6 people and last year we were able to recruit over 400 volunteers to pack over 1,500 boxes. These meals are distributed to the families served by our program and the surrounding community during the week before Thanksgiving. With this resource, families who otherwise may not be able to afford a holiday meal in their own home are able to gather and celebrate together.
We receive dozens of thank you notes from families stating the difference that this food made in their holiday celebration. We take joy in providing for families in need during a time of year that can be especially challenging financially. We look at our ability to complete this program each year as evidence of the community's desire to help others.