New Local Organization Gives Children a Hunger-Free Summer
Cookeville, Tenn. – One in five children in Middle Tennessee does not know where their next meal will come from. When summer comes, many children lose access to free and reduced-price meals from their school. What is even more alarming is that in Putnam County hundreds of children are at risk of going hungry.
“Nobody should ever go hungry, especially children,” said Ashley Swann, founder of Food to the Rescue. “This information weighed heavy on my heart. In 1 John 3:18 it says ‘Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. I knew it was time to take action. And so I began to investigate and research what we could do to make sure children, starting in this county, were fed this summer.”
Food to the Rescue is partnering with Putnam County Food Services to be able to feed children while on summer break.
“During my research, I was thrilled to find that Putnam County Food Services does provide meals at select schools throughout the summer for families to come and eat. But we also found that some of those families in need have no way of getting there. Food to the Rescue is here to bring the food to them” said Swann. “We plan to launch in Baxter this summer, with Cornerstone and Baxter Elementary schools, and deliver meals once-a-week to children that have no transportation, no access to food or cannot prepare meals for themselves. Our goal is to expand into other schools in Putnam County and eventually the whole county.”
There are many ways the community can get involved. Food to the Rescue is looking for volunteers. They need volunteers to deliver food, coordinate deliveries and more. Food to the Rescue also takes donated food items from retailers, distributors, growers, local businesses and individuals- and they pick it up. The community can also make a donation through the Food to the Rescue website to support this organization so they will be able to deliver food to children during the summer.
“Monetary gifts are the most effective way for us to fight hunger in our community. Can you imagine what would happen if we all gave a dollar?” said Swann.
“These children are our neighbors, our children’s and grandchildren’s classmates. They are our friends. We hope you will get involved and help us feed our friends in need,” said Swann.
Children do have to meet eligibility criteria to have food delivered to them. That criterion is located on the Food to the Rescue website where families can apply or have the application printed off for them to submit.