Beginning next school year, in August 2018, students at Double Branch Elementary School in Wesley Chapel will have access to a new support program. This program, provided by Full Circle Food Outreach, will provide backpacks filled with healthy, easy to prepare food for students who are dependent on free or reduced school meals. The goal is to support a child’s development and educational experience by bridging the gap between school meals during weekends.
The benefits of weekend food backpacks are long-lasting. Hunger has a direct link to a child’s ability to learn. Studies show that nourished children experience less anxiety, reduced absenteeism, improved attention span, higher academic performance and increased self-esteem.
Working with community volunteers, Full Circle Food Outreach is able to provide food for children to take home over the weekend. Every Friday during the school year, the students enrolled in the program will receive a backpack filled with two breakfasts, two lunches and snacks – food that replaces what they receive during a school day. Students and families who qualify for the free lunch program will automatically be approved for enrollment in the program. The program will be open to any student in need on a first come, first served basis. Full Circle Food Outreach aims to provide food for as many students in need as possible.
Full Circle Food Outreach depends on our community to donate food items throughout the year at drop-off locations and during food drives. They also purchase food from local grocers using generous donations from individuals and businesses in our community. Next school year will be the initial program launch and the goal is to serve as many students as possible. Currently, about 240 students at Double Branch Elementary qualify for the lunch program. With community support, Full Circle Food Outreach hopes to enroll at least half of the currently eligible students in the program.
It cost approximately $5 to fill a backpack with food each week. The total funds needed meet the goal of providing 120 backpacks weekly for 32 school weeks (3,840 total backpacks) would be about $19,000 for next school year.
You can help meet the fundraising goal by donating food or money, volunteering, or signing up as a Corporate Partner. There are many volunteer opportunities available and local businesses are encouraged to check-out partnership opportunities.
All donations received by August 1st, 2018 will go toward enrolling students in the program next school year. Please consider helping Full Circle help our local students. If you would like to donate food items, you can find a list of suggested items on their website: www.FullCircleFoodOutreach.org. You can find also details about the program, sign up to volunteer and donate directly through the website.
– Article Submitted By: Amber Chancey
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