LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – No Kid Hungry, a campaign that aims to battle food insecurity in homes around the nation recently ran a grant program to provide schools with the resources they need to feed students. The Troup County School System was one of the seven districts in Georgia to be awarded funds that will go towards more resources in the cafeteria at Callaway Middle School.
Eleni Towns, the Associate Director for No Kid Hungry, said the organization gives away grant funding to schools for a variety of needs including buying appliances, supplies and hiring staff. She also said schools around the state are facing challenges with the supply chain making it very difficult to feed students everyday.
“All the districts that received funding this time around have just shown a real commitment to the work that they’re doing and a specific need that we can help alleviate,” said Towns.
Callaway received $25,000 that will be used to purchase a third traditional oven and a Combi oven. The middle school has been Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school for years which means they provide a non-pricing meal service option for students.
According to Towns, No Kid Hungry Georgia has given away $2.5 million in grant funding to schools and community organizations since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
“We have a strong belief that everybody has a strength to offer and that child hunger is a problem that is going to need bold and immediate action. Whether it’s getting the word out about programs, whether it’s lifting a hand or whether it’s contributing financially. We really believe that everybody can do something to end this problem,” said Towns.
The school districts that were awarded grants were evaluated based on their individual needs and were granted the funds based on what they require to provide more meals in schools.
Diane Pain, the Director of Nutrition for TCSS, applied for the grant at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year. She said Callaway Middle School started a “supper club” earlier this school year to assist students facing food insecurity at home around dinner time. Including dinner, the school provides about 1,000 meals everyday for students with about two hours in between each meal.
“I was very excited to get the money for the grant and I’ve received money through this grant before. They’re a great option for helping school districts to reach our goals,” said Pain.
Pain and the staff at Callaway Middle School provide a variety of meal options for the students everyday. Students can pick between items like sandwiches, non-meat items and homemade options.
She said she picked Callaway as the school to receive the grant because that is where she recognized the most need within the student body.
No Kid Hungry makes the grant cycles possible with private funds that are given by many funders including individual and corporate donors, foundations, restaurants and many others.