Towards the end of last school year, we learned that a local teacher was using their own money to buy food to put into one of the children's backpacks. This child did not have enough to eat during the weekend when school-provided breakfast and lunch were unavailable.
The idea that kids in our school did not have enough food to eat when they went home for the weekend struck a nerve. And it turns out there are more kids facing this challenge than we realized. That conversation led to more conversations with parents, who were equally as shocked as we were.
We decided to do something about it: we started DC Food Project.
Over the past few months, we have been working with school administrators, local organizations, amongst others, to develop a weekend bag program that discretely sends food home over the weekends for children who qualify.
Our intention is to expand this program throughout schools in Washington, DC.
This kind of program has been a smashing success in other city school systems and we have been in close contact with those non-profits as well as other programs in our city.
In conjunction with these efforts, we have also launched a Share Table Program, where students can place unopened and/or sealed foods that they choose not to eat during school breakfast and lunch in a basket, providing an opportunity for other students to take additional helpings of food that would otherwise be thrown away. While serving a greater need for nutrition within schools, these tables will also help in the reduction of food waste.
It's a lot -- but exciting -- and hope to have a positive impact in our city. If children come to school not feeling hungry, excited to learn and not worried about their next meal -- then, we've done something right.
The DC Food Project Team
Alysa, Krista and Lucie