June 26, 2015
by Mya Price

For the past couple of summers, God’s Pantry Food Bank in Lexington, KY – the food bank I work for – has hosted an event to kick off the beginning of summer feeding programs for children. Summer can be a tough time for some children, as they no longer have free or reduced-cost school meals to rely on and consequently, can face the threat of hunger.

I had the pleasure of planning this year's hunger-free summer kick-off event. Reflecting back to last summer's event, the food bank and community summer feeding sponsors partnered to host the kick-off event and created a flyer that listed every summer feeding site throughout our service area in Fayette County, Kentucky. Last year's event was held at a summer feeding site located at a park and in attendance were representatives from the USDA, state and local government. Since last year's kick-off was a success, I knew this year's would be an even greater experience due to the partnerships we were able to maintain with our sponsors and the support we've received from the community.

This year the food bank decided to host the event at one of our summer feeding library locations in Fayette County. Compared to other library locations, this location serves the children hot meals and snacks in the afternoon throughout the summer months. Our other library locations, which are located in rural counties throughout our service area, serve both shelf-stable lunches and snacks to the children throughout the summer months. It was a perfect kick-off location because of its central location, the high population of children in the area and the automatic 100 percent eligibility that schools have in the area. Additionally, this site operates every day of the week and regularly feeds more than 80 children per day.

In preparing for the kick-off event, I wanted to invite a wide range of key stakeholders. Invitees included local government, a representative from our Congressman’s office, a USDA representative from Atlanta, Georgia serving the Kentucky region, our Summer Feeding Food Service (SFSP) representatives from the state of Kentucky and community leaders. The media was there to also help us make the community aware of the program.

Given the opportunity to coordinate such an event makes me proud of the work I do for the children of my community. Seeing representatives from various areas of the community in attendance at this event allowed me to reinforce the fact that there are people just like me in my community working toward the same goal. Together, we can feed more children!

*Mya Price is a member of the fourth cohort of the Child Hunger Corps and has been working at God's Pantry since August 2013.

The Child Hunger Corps is a national service program designed to increase the capacity and capability of food banks to execute programs targeted towards the alleviation of child hunger. The objective of the program is to increase the number of nutritious meals served to children in need in local communities across the country. The Child Hunger Corps initiative is sponsored by the ConAgra Foods Foundation.

Tags: Fighting Hunger in Action , Child Hunger , Kentucky , God's Pantry Food Bank, Inc.

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