Weekend Feeding Program
NOW: Nutrition On Weekends. This is our new logo for our weekend feeding program. For the last 6 years, FGFRC has been providing a pack full of food for children from area schools to take home every weekend during the school year. The feeding programs are set up in Brier Creek, Fair Grove, Thomasville Primary and Pilot Elementary schools. Due to sponsor budget cuts, 50 children will go hungry every weekend at Brier Creek Elementary School and 10 at Pilot Elementary School without your help. $200 will feed a child every weekend for the whole school year. We need your help to be able to feed these children. We don't want hungry children. All donations are tax deductible. For more information, call 336-472-7217.
Many children depend on food assistance
The-Dispatch.com Editorial Lexington, NC Published: Friday, August 16, 2013 at 12:30 a.m.
One in three children in Davidson County is considered at risk for food insecurity, according to Second Harvest Food Bank in Winston-Salem. Let that number sink in for a moment. That means in a class of 24 students, eight may not have access to nutritious food on a regular basis. On a youth soccer team of 15 players, five may be going hungry. In an afterschool program of 30 youngsters, 10 may not be eating well.
Need more proof? Look at the numbers of students on free and reduced lunches in the county's three school systems. Even an affluent school like Ledford High has 30 percent on free/reduced lunches. Go to a city school like Pickett Elementary, and the number skyrockets to 93 percent.
Numbers can easily be dismissed sometimes, but look closely the next time you visit a store, classroom, sporting event or other activity with a group of children and consider that one in three children you see may not be eating well. Perhaps that number caused a shock the first time you heard it, but as time passed it lost some of its power. Sadly, when a problem persists, some of the drive to address it can diminish over time, and a solution seems out of reach.
Many groups throughout the county continue to focus on the issue of hungry children. Over the past few years, food backpack programs have sprung up to make a dent in the problem. Communities In Schools of Lexington/Davidson County oversees 10 such programs. Several churches and other groups also sponsor backpack programs. These efforts allow some students to continue to eat nutritiously during the weekend, but they only reach a portion of those who could use the extra food.
Food serves as one of the basic necessities of life. Most of us take it for granted. But that's not the case for a third of the children in Davidson County. They don't have enough to eat or regularly partake of meals that aren't nutritious. School meals may receive a bum rap from a lot of students, but at least that provides an opportunity for a nutritious, balanced meal.
Child hunger in Davidson County is an issue that won't quickly disappear. But that's no reason to throw up our hands and fail to take action. Consider contributing to CIS, the Fairgrove Resource Center, a church or other organization that sponsors a backpack program. This will allow expansion of those programs to more students, as only a small percentage are served at present.
Perhaps it's human nature to move on to a different concern after an initial burst of activity when an issue comes to our attention. But the backpack programs serve a vital need and require continued support. Hopefully one day they will no longer be needed, and child hunger will no longer be an issue.
The prevalence of hunger in Davidson County is a very harsh reality and it's elimination is one of FGFRC's primary goals. The Weekend Feeding Program provides 182 students from four local elementary schools with a backpack loaded with nutritious food for weekend consumption. Participating students are selected by the school's guidance counselor.
Brier Creek Elementary School's backpack program was the first in Davidson County and the fourth in the state of North Carolina. The success of the first backpack program in 2006 and economic plight in Davidson County inspired FGFRC to expand the program. Three additional schools are now included in the program and are fully funded by grants and donations. The Weekend Feeding Program helps ease some stress for parents as they know their family has food for the weekend. The program also helps students focus more on school work as their nutritional needs are met.
With the NOW program 182 students attending Pilot Elementary, Thomasville Primary, Fair Grove Elementary and Brier Creek Elementary School will have nutritious food to sustain them every weekend during the school year.