Can you imagine coming home from school on Friday afternoon and not being able to find a snack in the house? What if your mom and dad worked during the weekends, and no one was at home to make dinner? What if there was no running water or electricity in your house, and you didn’t eat a full meal for the entire weekend? Now imagine how you might feel at school on Monday morning while the teacher is trying to explain something new. Would you really be able to think about anything but food? Probably not. Unfortunately, this is the way many kids in LISD feel on Monday mornings.
Now we have a better understanding of what teachers have known for a long time…a hungry child cannot learn.
But how many children are we talking about? At this point, we can’t say exactly. We do know that there are 35 elementary schools in LISD with an approximate enrollment of 15,000 kids in 2011. Of those, 73% were on free or reduced lunch. Unfortunately, 21 of the 35 elementary schools report that at least 75% of their students qualify for free or reduced lunch while seven of the elementary schools are at the 95% or greater level. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Texas had the highest percentage (16.4%) in the nation of households that had difficulty providing enough food for their family members in 2004. Based on statistics like these and countless heartbreaking stories, it has been determined that there is a need for assistance in our community.
The Junior League of Lubbock, in association with the South Plains Food Bank (SPFB) and Lubbock Independent School District (LISD), has created a program called Food2Kids (F2K) which is modeled after Feeding America Program™. Sacks of food are sent home on Fridays with children identified as being potentially at high risk for suffering from hunger during the weekend. The sacks contain such things as peanut butter, shelf-stable milk, juice, fruit snacks, pop-top cans of spaghetti, cereal, nut snacks, pop-tarts, etc. Thousands of volunteer hours are invested each year to run this program. Lubbock Independent School District has hospitably welcomed the Junior League's F2K program into their warehouse, where Junior League volunteers assemble the food sacks for distribution. Currently, we provide food sacks to 950 children each week. The eventual goal of the Junior League of Lubbock is to serve children in school districts across the Lubbock area. More questions?
Click here for F2K Frequently Asked Questions.
How can you help? Monetary donations are always welcome. Funding is our greatest need. Because the food for this program is specifically chosen for its nutritional value, weight and child-friendly accessibility, the food must be purchased by the Junior League of Lubbock.
We need more donations to buy enough food to grow the program to the point where it is available at all Lubbock area schools. You can mail a donation to: The Junior League of Lubbock, 4205 84th Street, Lubbock, TX 79423 or click here to make a donation online.
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