Healthy Learners Delivers Thousands of Summer Meals
August 16, 2021 | General News
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Healthy Learners has been using the tagline, “Love is in our Mission.” We say this because the word “love” is quite literally written into our mission statement and because our love for children and the communities we serve is at the core of what we do. We let this principle guide everything from our strategic plan to our day-to-day encounters.
One of the ways Healthy Learners has shown love is by reaching out to students and families this summer and delivering food. Hunger has continued to emerge as a need in the communities we serve and with love leading the way, Healthy Learners staff and AmeriCorps members delivered 3,645 meals to students in Greenwood and Hampton counties over the course of five weeks in the summer of 2021.
In the Upstate, we partnered with Greenwood School District 50 and the Lakelands Family YMCA while in the Lowcountry, we collaborated with SmartBox to deliver thousands of meals to children across Hampton County. We know that hunger is going to be an ongoing need for students across the state; we know that when a child is hungry, they cannot do their best in school. We are committed to serving more children in more communities across SC, with love.
Persistent hunger is identified as one of the eight health barriers to learning. Since March 2020, 11% of SC households with children have not had enough food to eat; for Black/African American households, this rate is three times higher at 33%. In families facing food insecurity, children are more likely to have lower math scores and repeat a grade. Household food insecurity negatively impacs the emotional state of the child, as described by measures of self-control, sadness, loneliness, impulsivity, and over-activeness.
While many schools have had food distribution sites during COVID-19, not all families have access to transportation, and many were working during food pick-up hours. In 2020 when schools and provider offices closed, Healthy Learners collaborated with over 60 community partners to deliver over 100,000 meals directly to homes of those in need.
Thank you so much for your continued support of Healthy Learner’s mission- your referrals, your attendance at our fundraising events, and your personal donations have made this all possible. You have provided a hungry child with a meal, a student that couldn’t see the board with glasses, and child that was up all night coughing with a rescue inhaler. Together, we are making a difference.