Food 2 Kids Program
For many children throughout northeast Georgia, school is much more than a place to learn; it is also the only reliable source of food in their lives. Consequently, weekends become a time of uncertainty and hunger anxiety. From the time they leave school on Friday afternoons until they return Monday morning, these most vulnerable children may not know when or even if they’ll be able to get a meal.
Believing that this is unacceptable, the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia launched its childhood hunger initiative. Through this, the Food 2 Kids program evolved; a program designed to alleviate hunger on nights and weekends when other food is not available. In January 2008 in partnership with The Junior League of Athens, the program started small serving approximately 80 students in one county. Today, the program has grown to serve over 1900 children in northeast Georgia.
Our program aims to bridge the weekly weekend hunger gap by providing free sacks of child friendly and child specific foods that are easy to open, nutritious, and do not require any cooking. Our Food 2 Kids program provides approximately six meals and two snacks each weekend that school is in session (40 weeks) to previously identified school children in Banks, Barrow, Clarke, Habersham, Hart, Jackson, Madison, Oglethorpe, Rabun, White, and Stephens counties.
Although much of the food the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia receives is donated, the food for the Food 2 Kids program is not. Purchase of the food for this program is required to ensure a balanced, nutritional, child friendly, reliable source of food for the growing and developing children this program serves. For less than a dollar a meal, the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia can provide 240 meals to one of our communities most vulnerable each school year.
While the need is greater than the resources at hand, the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia relies on community partners to prevent malnutrition during the critical stages of development. Each week volunteers pack and deliver these bags to various schools throughout the community. School officials then distribute the sacks to the students. This is the only program in which the Food Bank purchases food and it’s through the generosity of our monetary donors that this is possible.