Food 4 Kids

Origin of Food 4 Kids

Across the US, communities are dealing with the growing issue of childhood hunger. In several counties in Northeast Georgia, up to 75% of children live in households with incomes at or below the poverty level. In local schools, teachers were collecting food items to send home with certain students on the weekend because the students were coming to school hungry on Monday mornings. 

With the support of the Lavonia United Methodist Church (LUMC), in the Fall of 2011 the local Food 4 Kids (F4K) mission was developed. Local elementary schools were asked to identify children in Kindergarten through Fifth grade who were deemed by the school faculty as being at risk for weekend hunger in the absence of school food programs. Every week, church volunteers pack food bags that are delivered to each school. On Friday, the teachers place the bags into the students back pack.

Logistics of the LUMC F4K Mission

Two 'kid friendly' food assortments are prepared: one for younger kids in grades K-2 and another for older kids in grades 3-5. This insures the younger kids receive items that are safely and easily opened. All kids receive items that are single serve, ready to eat and can typically be opened and consumed with minimal adult supervision. In addition, each child receives a one pound jar of creamy peanut butter every other week. Attention is given to the assortment and weight of food so young kid's backpacks aren't overloaded.

The program is entirely supported by donations of money and food items from the LUMC and surrounding community. Because all overhead is supported by the LUMC and volunteers, 100% of donations support feeding children in our community. At it's inception the program supported 19 children, today that number is approaching 50 children divided between four local elementary schools surrounding the Lavonia area. 

Donations to the Program

The most expensive item in the F4K inventory is peanut butter with a per jar price increase of almost one dollar since 2011. Donations of peanut butter are a key target toward long term support of the mission. Of course other food items and financial donations are welcome. Typical items include pudding, pop tarts, snack crackers, granola bars, fruit or sauce cups, pop top soups and pastas, vienna sausage, and cereal. 

Current contact information for the Lavonia United Methodist Church is available via the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church web site for anyone interested in donating to the program. 

Similar programs have been in existence around the country since the early 1990's. See the Links to Other Web Sites page for links to some of those sites.

Jesus put a child in the middle of the room. Then cradling the little one in his arms, he said, "Whoever embraces one of these children as I do embraces me, and far more than me -- God who sent me." 

Copyright Tim and Karen Leard ©2012-2013 
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