Food program participation is a challenge across the nation. For parents, it is the household income which qualifies their kids for the Free and Reduced-Price lunch and Breakfast programs and subsequently the Weekend Survival Kits program. Across all three of these programs the national average of participation seems to hover at about 25% of the kids who qualify actually participate.
This 25% food program participation level challenges school administrations, teachers, and programs like Weekend Survival Kits. We all know that the benefits to the kids and their ability to learn are clear. At Weekend Survival Kits we have compassion for the parents and recognize the importance for us to have no judgement on their choices. We are well aware that we have no real knowledge for what they might be going through which might be an obstacle to a positive choice for their children.
At this point in the evolution of our program, the goal must be getting the kits offered at schools. As many schools as possible! Hopefully, teachers or administrators will be able to influence or inform the families who qualify to understand how a program such as Weekend Survival Kits can make a huge difference in their child’s academic performance and future success.
Hopefully, our work at streamlining processes, help in funding, and deploying volunteers for packing and distribution will free up school administrators or liaisons to have the time to reach out to qualifying families on a one-to-one basis to help them understand the importance of the Weekend Survival Kits program.
We will rely on the resources of the Feeding America Network and their Food Banks to get the word out nationally about the benefits of the program and to help reduce any perceived stigmas in participation. You can count on Weekend Survival Kits to share any relevant information on our Facebook page and encourage others to share, like and comment to spread the word as far as possible.