This morning I’m finalizing a presentation about the success of our childhood hunger programs. At the end of the month, I’ll be sharing our best practices with a group of other Feeding America food banks interested in starting and maintaining their own childhood programs in their communities. Sometimes we get so caught up in the day-to-day aspects of our work that we forget to step back and see how far we’ve come.
Hi-Five is one of our many programs that other food banks across the nation have been interested in duplicating at their local sites. The Hi-Five Kids Pack program was launched three years ago to help children who may not have food at home on the weekends.
These packs of food are distributed at participating schools by teachers and councelors who are best able to identify at-risk students. The demand for this program has grown greatly since its creation. Here’s our yearly distribution for each school year since Hi-Five’s start:
• School Year 06/07: 13,300 kids packs
• School Year 07/08: 18,793 kids packs
• School Year 08/09: 25,745 kids packs
As evidenced by these numbers, and echoed by the schools that are asking for more help for their children, the problem of childhood hunger is growing. In Orange County alone the number of homeless children has increased 36% in the past year.
Orlando Sentinal Article: Number of Homeless Students Skyrockets in Central Florida
The good news is that we do have solutions to combat childhood hunger in our community. All of the programs we operate make an impact in the lives of children in need.
A collection of Thank You cards from the kids at Killarney elementary, one of our Hi-Five Kids Pack Program Schools.
Please contact me if you want to learn more about how you can join us in the fight against hunger.
Director of Agency Relations & Programs
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
407.295.1066 ext. 30