The power outage affecting communities across Central Florida, including the Rosemont Elementary area, was resolved thanks to the hardworking linemen seeking to restore power following Hurricane Irma.
As a result of this prolonged outage, many families lost their perishable grocery items. However, not everyone will be able to replace the food that they lost during the outage. Neighbors surviving paycheck to paycheck may not have the budget to replace the items lost forcing them to resort to cheaper, less healthy options.
Rosemont Elementary is a Title I school where students receive free breakfast and lunch throughout the school year. The school is also a new partner of Second Harvest Food Bank’s School Market program. As part of the School Market program, the school participates in a Fresh Market, which provides fresh produce to its families during school events, like last week’s Open House.
Principal, Kelly Maldonado, and the Program Coordinator for Parent and Family Engagement, Shirley Williams, have been key partners in developing the School Market program at Rosemont Elementary. Following Hurricane Irma, Williams received reports from families visiting the school about the struggles and issues they were facing in the aftermath – a major problem being groceries and the finances to purchase them.
The Fresh Market combined efforts with Second Harvest’s Hurricane Irma relief efforts to provide food for the families of Rosemont Elementary. With the help of volunteers from The Mission Continues, the Rosemont Community Center, and staff of Rosemont Elementary, nearly 133 families (approximately 513 people) received 6,600 pounds of fresh apples, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, snacks, and water.
Friends from The Mission Continues and Goodwill brought free books, backpacks, and Batman for the students. Additionally, nutrition education activities for the kids were hosted by Second Harvest Nutrition Staff, Rachel Stankiewitch, while the parents shopped for the food.
During the open house, families also had the opportunity to meet and get-to-know their student’s teacher. Staff at Rosemont were especially happy with the outcome of the Open House. Veteran staff members stated that the Open House was the largest Open House in the past ten years.
For most families, this is only a small relief in relation to the number of repairs and recovery that it will take to heal from the storm. Rosemont Elementary is playing a huge role in that recovery by providing a source of support for their families in the weeks to come.
If you are interested in learning more about the School Market program, please contact Cheyanna Johnson at CJohnson@feedhopenow.org.