Bibb County, Georgia — this year Bibb County School District has introduced programs in some schools aimed at helping more children get the food and nutrition they need.
“I appreciate what my parents have given me,” says fifth grader Mariany Mendoza.
Mendoza said one of the things her parents always relied on was food, but she realized that others, including her classmates, weren’t so lucky.
“They told me they would be hungry. If I had something, I would give them something.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has revealed that 13.5 million households will be food insecure in 2021.
Bibb’s Southfield Elementary School is one of several schools participating in a pilot program with a mission to help families facing food shortages.
Principal Janice Sharp says she has noticed first-hand the food insecurity of the children.
“I’ve seen students rush to school saying they haven’t eaten, are hungry, or misbehaved because they didn’t get their breakfast,” Sharp said.
This effort has been brought to several Bibb County schools through Helping Hands Ending Hunger. Their goal is to rescue leftover food from school lunches and provide it to families in need.
The Middle Georgia Community Food Bank also supplies food. Juices, packaged vegetables, fruits and more are available from the cafeteria.
“We get apples and oranges because we sanitize them with fruit spray. All the milk we don’t need,” says program coordinator Dwan Johnson.
Mendoza is one of more than 15 student volunteers helping to feed students, their families and staff.
The largest family they feed is 12 people. They provide meals for all members and all program participants. They receive donated food in addition to the food they collect at lunch.
Helping Hands Statement to End Hunger:
Helping Hands Ending Hunger is excited to introduce the Kids Helping Kids program to the Bibb County School District, thanks to the generous support of the Peyton Anderson Foundation. Our pilot schools have embraced our mission of rescuing inedible food from school lunches and working with communities to raise food-insecure families, and are achieving phenomenal results. Partnering with the Middle Georgia Community Food Bank, we still have a lot to achieve and will continue to grow our presence and reach more families in need as we work to build sustainable community support. I’m looking forward to it. Together, we will promote better educational outcomes and shape a healthier world.
If your school would like to participate, please email the CEO with the link. here.