It’s estimated that 1 out of 4 children in the Beavercreek school district do not have enough food to eat at home. Most of these children are on the free or discounted lunch program at school, but once the school day is over, they may still be in need of extra nourishment. Dedicated to fighting childhood hunger in their own backyard, Feed the Creek is an organization run entirely by volunteers working to make sure children have the food they need. Dayton Parent spoke to Sharon Fulcher, Founder and Executive Director at Feed the Creek, about the ways they’re able to provide food for those that need it most.
How does Feed the Creek provide food to the children of Beavercreek?
We use a weekend “backpack program.” Feed the Creek volunteers work to sort and bag non-perishable food donations and deliver it to each of the Beavercreek public schools. We communicate with the school counselors to ensure each child that has signed up to receive assistance is provided with a backpack full of food to take home over the weekend. The food is given to the children discretely on Friday, or on the last day of each school week.
How do families sign up to receive Feed the Creek assistance?
At the beginning of each school year, a form is sent home to 100% of kids within the district. Parents or guardians can fill out the form to request the backpack program assistance. We also work with each of the school counselors to identify children that may be in need. Students and their siblings, who are either signed up by their guardians or identified by their counselors, will be eligible for the Feed the Creek weekend food program.
What are some of your greatest needs right now and what can the community do to help?
Our greatest need is for members of the community to sign up for the “Adopt a Child” program. It costs about $30 per month or $300 per school year to provide food assistance for one child. As far as food donations, we are always in need of oatmeal packs and pudding, but the full list of the types of food we accept for our program can be found on our website. We have multiple donation drop off locations, including collection bins within the Beavercreek Community Library and several local churches. Food can also be dropped off at any of the schools or directly to the Feed the Creek pantry.
There are ‘Little Free Pantry’ collection boxes outside of some of the area schools – are those part of the Feed the Creek Program?
Yes. The little free pantries are for anyone who may need a little extra food. The reason they are at the schools is for children to have the opportunity to give back to the community. Kids and their families are able to add to the pantries at any time. The food they place in the boxes can then be taken by anyone who needs it. These pantries also serve in raising awareness of the hunger problems here in Beavercreek. You would be surprised how fast these little pantries go empty!
Want to learn more about Feed the Creek? Visit their website at www.feedthecreek.org to find information on becoming a volunteer or sponsor, a list of food needed for the backpack program as well as where to drop off food donations.