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February 2017 Entry

"Feed Our Children"…End Childhood Hunger Today !!

Dominic Muscante
Glassport · PA
Overview
What is your cause and how will it make the world kinder?

"Feed Our Children" is a program started by the Glassport Assembly of God Food Pantry. The program was started to combat the growing dilemma known as childhood hunger. 1 in 5 children in the US don't know where their next meal is coming from or when it will be. In small low income neighborhoods like ours that number can be as high as 3 in 5 children. Offering a weekend "backpack" program that provides 6 complete meals (more on holiday breaks) every week and a summer feeding program that provides hot meals during the summer break, we are able to supply children in need with meals when school is not in session. The goal of "Feed Our Children" is to end childhood hunger and food insecurity in our community 1 child and 1 weekend at a time.

How will you use the $10k?

Each month our food pantry provides extra food to families of 150 children ages 0 - 17. We expect that about 100 of these children will participate in the program and expect that number will increase once the program is expanded to include the entire school district. If we receive the $10,000: $4,500 would go to providing backpacks to 100 children each week for the remaining 20 weeks of the school year at around $2.25 per bag based on a partnership with local Foodbank and grocery store. An Additionally $2,500 would be used to make improvements to our kitchen facility to serve children throughout the summer, and the remaining $3,000 would be used to purchase food and supplies to serve hot meals during the 11 week summer break.

What impact do you hope to make?

Studies have shown that when children are hungry it is harder for them to focus, study, and learn in school. When a child goes home after school and is unsure if they will have dinner it becomes difficult to focus on homework or studying. Now consider going 2 whole days not knowing when or what you will be eating next or if it will be a complete meal or not. Children facing food insecurity find Mondays the hardest. "Feed Our Children" hopes to alleviate the hunger these children are facing and by doing so help them to be more focused and ready to learn in school. By continuing to offer meals throughout the summer as well we hope kids will become active and energized in addition to being ready to learn when the new school year starts.

Other Details

Since "Feed Our Children" is a program of our food pantry we already have a space to operate out of, a current volunteer base, and partnerships with a Foodbank and grocery store in our local area. Once funding is in place for the program expansion the first 2 weeks would consist of signing up children to participate in the program. Bags and non perishable items would be purchased in weeks 3 and 4. Months 2 through 5 would consist of distributing the "backpacks" every Friday to all participating children, and restocking food and supplies as needed. Also during the 5th month we would begin preparations for our summer feeding program. In the 6th month the "backpack" program would be wrapping up and the summer feeding program would be starting.

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