By Amy Biestek, No Kid Hungry Virginia Northern Regional Associate
Summer is the hungriest time of year. For Virginia students, less than 15% who rely on school meals participate in summer meals programming. In King George, Carolyn Anita Davis, Coordinator of Food Service with King George County Public Schools, and her team are working to make a positive impact in their community.
In partnership with community-based organizations, such as Virginia Cooperative Extension and Love They Neighbor, Anita has been able to enhance her summer feeding program.
Virginia Cooperative Extension - Every Tuesday during the summer, La Wanda (Pegi) Wright, Extension Agent and Unit Coordinator with Virginia Cooperative Extension, arrives as King George Elementary School with either a lesson plan or cooking demonstration scheduled for the kids as they enjoy their lunch. On this particular Tuesday, she was leading a lesson on the five components of MyPlate to teach the important of healthy eating habits. The interactive lesson involved children building their own healthy plate based on foods eaten during the Independence Day holiday. Games and prizes did not disappoint and as one would expect, the cafeteria was filled with excitement. The programs Virginia Cooperative Extension provides extends into the school year too.
Love Thy Neighbor – New to this summer’s feeding program is King George County Public School’s partnership with Love Thy Neighbor, a community food pantry and soup kitchen. Working with The Food Donation Connection to distribute surplus of foods from Wawa, Love Thy Neighbor picks up sandwiches from Wawa two times a week and hands out the food every Friday at King George Elementary School and Potomac Elementary School. Plans have been made to expand the program this summer to include King George High School with the potential for continuation into the school year. Love Thy Neighbor hopes that by distributing on Fridays will help supplement meals for the weekend.
Summer feeding at King George Elementary School is not just about providing meals, but also about creating an environment where kids feel as though they are part of the community all while learning and having fun!