With such an abundance of food in the U.S. today, no child should go hungry. Yet 34 million people in the U.S. are food insecure, including 9 million children, according the Feeing America. Hope Center Pantry is doing something about these troubling statistics by preparing family meal kits.
Social Benefits of a Family Meal
Today’s families are busy, no doubt! Preparing and eating family meals together takes time and effort. But the benefits of regularly gathering around the table for a family meal are worth the effort. 7 Science-Based Benefits of Eating Together as a Family. Families who prepare and eat a meal together benefit from the social interaction of a shared meal. Research shows that having the family involved in meal preparation increases fruit and vegetable intake. In addition, family meals provide a sense of togetherness and security that helps nurture children into well-rounded, healthy adults. Family dinners have a positive impact on children’s personal identity, self-esteem, values, and motivation.
Meal Kits for Green Bay Families
Hope Center Pantry is a Christian-based nonprofit ministry that strongly encourages family time and family meals. The pantry partners with Annie Jackson Elementary in Green Bay to provide the ingredients for a full, nutritious meal families in need. Starting in September 2021, and throughout the 2022-23 school year, the pantry created “meal kits” for a family of four. These meal kits are orchestrated through their school counselor who has a team of 50 students that help pack and distribute the meals once a month. Additionally, the school has a mini pantry available called Hunger Heroes.
Food & Recipes for Hungry Kids
The families pre-register for the meal, and they receive meal recipes in both English and Spanish. The pantry includes an English/Spanish flyer with each meal kit, so families know about the pantry’s location and services. One month, the pantry provided 33 meals – enough food to feed 132 parents and children at a family meal. Pizza Mac and Cheese is one example of a meal kit, with all ingredients provided.
Collaborating with Green Bay School Counselors
To spread the word Hope Center Pantry, we contacted school counselors in the Green Bay School District, sharing information about our pantry and other food pantries in Brown County. We encouraged the counselors to send information home with students whose families have a need for our services.
One of the school counselors from Eisenhower Elementary in Green Bay stops by Hope Center Pantry periodically to pick up food to give families with children in the school. The children’s parents don’t have cars to travel to the pantry, so the counselor cheerfully delivers their food right to their door!
Panty Serves Families with Children
Together, we are serving families and children in need in the Green Bay community. Children who have enough to eat perform better at school and have a better chance of growing into healthy teens and adults. We’re grateful to everyone who volunteers, donates, and advocates for Hope Center Pantry, to feed kids and families who are hungry. Contact us to learn more about the ways you can contribute to our mission.