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November 20, 2018

Fighting Food Insecurity in Michigan

Kids in a classroom. 1 in 4 kids are reported as experiencing food insecurity.

At Weekend Survival Kits we know that right here in our own communities that as many as 1 in 4 school-aged children are determined as experiencing food insecurity; and that insecurity has a dramatic affect on their ability to learn.  We are painfully aware that food insecurity is not just a child problem. It is a whole family problem. Food insecurity comes from lack of access and resources for healthy food choices. While we can’t solve the whole food insecurity problem, we have chosen to focus our program efforts on two solvable food gaps, which when addressed, can make a significant and positive impact on a child’s ability to learn.

Weekend Survival Kits – as a program is a weekend food kit of supplemental nutrition in single-serving and easy to prepare form for school kids. Kids who are mostly aged from Kindergarten to 5th grade. The kits are sent home twice a month with enough food to help cover two weekends.  Why is this important? Because if the household is struggling with lack of food over the weekend, these children come to school too hungry to learn. Most of the children who participate in the Weekend Survival Kits program qualify for the federal Free and Reduced Lunch program and the School Breakfast program.  When there is inadequate food over the weekend, teachers report that it takes the better part of the school day on Monday for these students to be able to focus and learn.  This is like being absent for 39 Mondays during the school year! How would your child perform in school if they missed 39 days?  Every child deserves the chance to consistently do their best in school.

Will you Give Hope to a Hungry Kid?   $100 will cover the cost of Weekend Survival Kits for one child for an entire school year.

Weekday Survival Snacks – is a new program tested last school year.  In a survey of teachers in our participating schools, it was learned that one of the very real obstacles to learning in the classroom was the impact of students who either forgot a snack or had no snacks at home to bring.  Teachers reported that classroom behavior and attention challenges could often be managed with snacks. It was also found that many teachers spend their own money to keep a supply of snacks to share with students. At Weekend Survival Kits it is possible to source and purchase quality snacks because of our relationship with local food banks and sponsors. This makes it possible to provide, for a school, a monthly box with anywhere from 350 to 500 individual snacks to be divided among the K-5 classrooms at an extremely favorable rate.  Currently 30 of the 71 participating Weekend Survival Kits schools have opted for this program – we expect that number to grow. With sponsorship we will be able to continue to supply the snack boxes at no cost to the schools.

Will you close the snack gap for a local elementary school?   $75 will cover the cost of a Weekday Survival Snack box for one month.

Weekend Survival Kits was established in 2012 (under the name Many Hands) and has steadily grown each year. To learn more about how your business, family, and faith community can help with our mission Giving Hope to Hungry Kids, please visit our website to learn more.