FeedMore Uses $15,000 Donation to Fund Local Children’s Programs

September 20, 2013

Online Story by Katherine Johnson
Video Story by Nana Bonsu
VCU InSight

RICHMOND, Va.—FeedMore, a hunger relief agency in central Virginia, is kicking off Hunger Awareness Month with the help of a large donation from Kroger.

The donation will be used to support FeedMore’s children’s’ program and the 71 percent of Richmond students who are eligible for free and reduced school lunch.

“When your kids are in school and you look around that classroom, and they are in a classroom of about 20 kids – 3 kids in that class room are probably living with hunger – and sometimes silently,” said Jeff Baldwin, FeedMore’s media and public relations manager.

FeedMore, which usually runs on an $8 million budget each year, said they are grateful for the $15,000 donation from Kroger. The donation will provide about 75,000 meals for the children in FeedMore’s programs, which prepare and deliver food to students during the school day and on weekends.

While Baldwin said the $15,000 donation is significant, “We need a lot more, we need everyone to get involved. Everyone in this community can donate something whether its time, money or food.”

“One thing to keep in mind is that hunger is a twelve month a year problem in our area… For a lot of these kids, that’s the last meal they will get that day,” Baldwin said.

Daryl Wilson, a varsity football player at Highland Springs High School, is one of about 100 students at his school who participates in an after school nutrition program sponsored by FeedMore. Wilson listed chicken, broccoli and carrots as part of the meals he receives at the after school program.

“It benefited me by helping me eat more, eat healthier and have chemistry with my teammates,” Wilson said.

Wilson’s football coach and mentor coordinator, William B. Alston II, says the afterschool nutrition program “has been a great addition to the school,” and is open to any student participating in an after school activity.

“We consistently had breakfast and lunch provided for the students – and the students greatly benefit from that – they had more energy and enthusiasm to go through practice, whether it was band practice or football practice,” Alston said.

Highland Springs was the pilot program, but now seven local schools participate. In addition to lunch and breakfast, Highland Springs will also provide supper for student athletes twice a week this fall.

“You never know what a child may be going through. Sometimes they may not have the courage to step up and say ‘hey I’m hungry,’ but by the reaction of our students standing in line waiting for food – we know it is a benefit,” Alston said.