At Food For Thought, our mission is to enable children to focus on their development and education by removing the fear and insecurity that comes from not knowing if they will get enough to eat, and, in some cases, knowing that they will not.
Many children suffer from what the USDA officially refers to as “Food Insecurity”, which means they regularly go hungry because their families do not have enough money to buy food. Public schools receive government assistance to provide breakfast and lunch for these children on school days, but when school is out on the weekends, the children must fend for themselves, or they make do with one or two low-cost foods because their families cannot afford to provide balanced meals.
This is where we begin.
By providing these children with a simple backpack filled with healthy, easy-to-prepare food on these two days, we bridge the weekend gap. By providing fresh fruit, whole grains and protein we are supporting their physical development and empowering them to grow into productive students and healthy, happy children.
Everything that Food for Thought does is founded on the principle of respect.
Understanding that accepting help is not easy, we respect the privacy of the children and families by remaining mutually anonymous. We work in partnership with school administrators, who identify the children in need and contact their parents who can choose to accept our support.
Understanding that standing out in any way can be uncomfortable for a child, we respect the child’s self-esteem by providing unmarked backpacks full of food which can be picked up in an inconspicuous location on the way out of school on Friday afternoon, and then dropped off empty on Monday morning.
Understanding that hunger hurts regardless of a family’s spiritual beliefs or observances, we respect the religious diversity of those we can help by keeping the backpacks free of messages and correspondence of any kind. While Food for Thought is grounded in the Christian Faith, we believe that the Grace is delivered in the food and action, and that is what matters most.
Note from Founder
I started Food For Thought in my own kitchen in the Fall of 2010 in order to help six children from my son’s school have enough to eat on the weekends. Through random donations of backpacks, food I managed to throw together from my own grocery budget, and a few helpful friends, we managed to scrape enough together each week to make my vision a reality for these kids, even though it didn’t always feel like a sure thing. Since then, I have met some wonderful and supportive people who, like me, are inspired to help and have become my community partners. Because of them, we were able help 33 children this past Spring, and we are still growing! We have a work space, food supplies, and volunteers. In the up-coming school year, we will be providing for well over 100 kids in our community.
That so many children should need help in our area is beyond sad, but to not offer help when it is in my ability to do so, that would be the greater tragedy. Thank you for considering offering your help by supporting this program. We are helping beautiful young children develop into healthy, happy and productive people. It is not only our duty to help, it is our opportunity.