Feed A Hungry Child was conceived by a small group of community adults and an educator in Pickens County, SC realized there were children in our school system who had no food on the weekends. The elementary principal secured funding for the 14 students in her school to provide a basic of life, food. Once word spread, a committee was formed and students were identified at 12 of the 15 elementary schools who were also not getting the basic need of food on weekends. Three of the schools had sponsors of PTA to help in their program and did not wish to participate at the time we formed our program. Many reasons were given for the lack of food, be it parenting skills, out of work and no resources, drugs, alcohol, etc. It did not matter what the reason, we just knew children needed food to thrive and survive.
A board was formed and decided to meet on a monthly basis and find ways to secure funding for the backpacks that would go home with the students on Fridays.
Once this board was formed, members went out to the rest of the communities to secure funding. In a short 5-month period $35,000 was taken in by board members. This money became the basis for our program. Churches, businesses, and individuals contributed to this very worthy cause.
Initially, several board members drove to Sam’s Club weekly to buy food and pack the bags for backpacks. Youth groups sometimes helped pack the bags as did many volunteers.
The program was set up in the elementary schools and our organization provided money to purchase food from a local food bank, which in turn packed 4 meals in the back packs for the 350 students we served. Our volunteers picked up the packs at the Golden Harvest Food Bank and delivered them to the public elementary schools in Pickens County, SC. Guidance Counselors then handled the distribution on a confidential basis. Today we serve elementary, middle, high school, and the career center students in Pickens County.
Currently volunteers raise money through fundraisers, grants, going to festivals and promoting awareness, and a designated Sunday in May for a special offering in churches for this program and pleas to local businesses.
Nine years later we are serving about 600 students with anticipation of adding another middle school in the 2019-2020 school year.
Our annual budget is currently $150,000 per year. Ninety-six percent of the income goes directly to feeding the children with 4% overhead for utilities, promotional material, and a part-time administrative assistant. The monthly cost to feed the students is $15,000 each month from the middle of August to the beginning of June.
Our success depends on the communities, businesses, and volunteers in Pickens County.