Originally Published: October 19, 2015 6 a.m.
Fortunately, programs exist to feed children during the school day, but what about on weekends? That's where Humboldt Schools and Hungry Kids Project comes in!
Inspired by the vision of Carm Staker, long time civic advocate, and the founder of HUSD Hungry Kids, Carm made it her mission to enable students to learn by eliminating childhood hunger. By providing nutritionally sound weekend meals, the Hungry Kids Project ensures that students will come to school on Monday morning ready to learn.
Hungry Kids Project is an all-volunteer operation of between 35 and 40 people who supply weekend meals to children identified by the school district as needing such assistance. Volunteers are involved in the following tasks: purchasing food and delivering it to the packing sites, packing food into plastic bags, delivering bags to the school sites for weekly distribution or pantry program, and assisting with fundraising and community awareness.
Through the project, children receive two breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners a weekend. Breakfast might include a box of cereal, a fruit cup or breakfast bar; lunch might be canned tuna or chicken and individually wrapped crackers or a small package of pre-cooked hot dogs; dinner could include such things as canned meats, soups and vegetables. Kid-friendly snacks are also offered in the food packs.
The project in HUSD has successfully evolved from two school sites to now all 10 schools, with the middle schools and high school operating more as a food pantry where students can come and collect the packaged foods.
Annually, it takes approximately $32,000 to fund the Hungry Kids Project. HUSD Student Councils have generated more than 12,000 food items in a districtwide food drive in an attempt to offset some of the cost of the project, but some challenges still exist. Despite donations and fund raising efforts, Hungry Kids Project still needs an additional $6,000 to fund this project throughout the remainder of the 2015-16 school year. Additionally, a larger distribution site is needed to accommodate the growing number of weekend food items that need to be stored, packaged and distributed.
If you are interested in donor or volunteering opportunities, please call HUSD Food and Nutrition Director Tami-Hitt-Wyant at 928-759-5012 or Kathy Bracety at 775-7271 for further information.