Ranch & Coast Magazine

February 2024

Read Ranch & Coast Virtually Anywhere

Issue link: http://ranchandcoast.uberflip.com/i/1515086

Contents of this Issue


Page 49 of 99

GALA: PHOTO BY DOUG GATES FOOD 4 KIDS: COURTESY PHOTO To Know a Weekend without Hunger San Diego Food Bank brings hope to local elementary school students facing ongoing food insecurity O N FRIDAYS, WHEN THE LAST school bell rings, many elementary students head into the weekend filled with excitement. For others who depend on free school meals for the bulk of their nutrition, time spent away from school can bring feelings of anxiety, as they may go an entire weekend without eating until they return to school on Monday. ese children were the inspiration for the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank's Food 4 Kids Backpack Program, which was created in 2006. Principals, teachers, and guidance counselors look for subtle clues to help identify children they believe could benefit from the program. "When we notice that children don't come to school with clean clothes, or are trying to save food in the lunch line, we immediately reach out and ask how we can support," says Monica Martin, a counselor at Encanto Elementary School. e answer in many cases is the Food 4 Kids Backpack Program. Every Friday afternoon before heading home, students enrolled in the program stop by a designated classroom at their school to pick up their weekend food pack filled with nutritious, kid-friendly food placed securely in their backpacks by staff. In addition to receiving food for themselves, the students are also given an additional "family pack" once a month, which includes a selection of meal-based food items for the student to share with their entire family. With the establishment of this program, the Food Bank is able to help fill a nutritional gap local schools couldn't easily address on their own. "e Food 4 Kids Backpack Program is a hunger-relief program, but it is more than just simply feeding these kids who are at or near the poverty line. is is an investment deeply rooted in giving our future generations the proper nutrition they need outside of school hours to thrive in a classroom setting in hopes of setting them up for future success," says Casey Castillo, CEO of the Food Bank. e program, which began with 60 students in its first year, is currently serving 3,500 elementary school students at more than 60 elementary schools in 15 school districts in the San Diego region. e expansion of this program over the years has been made possible by many generous donors, with significant support generated at the Food Bank's annual gala. Last year, as a direct result of funding raised at the event, hundreds of students were taken off waiting lists and added to the program, but many more are still waiting. Funds generated at the 12th Annual San Diego Food Bank Gala, which takes place on April 27 under the stars at the organization's facility in Miramar, will further support the program as well as the Food Bank's other critical work that provides food for the county's children, families, and seniors in need. Co-chaired by Amy Jacobs and Jeannie Johnson Bolinger, the event will feature live entertainment, specialty hors d'oeuvres prepared by local chefs, a savory multi- course dinner, and the opportunity to bid on silent and live auction items. For additional information about the upcoming gala and to learn about sponsorship opportunities, contact the Food Bank's events manager, Alexis Hernandez. 858.863.5113, ahernandez@ sandiegofoodbank.org, sandiegofoodbank.org JANE SHIOMI Focus philanthropy Proceeds from the 12th annual San Diego Food Bank Gala will benefit the organization's hunger-relief programs, including the Food 4 Kids Backpack Program The San Diego Food Bank's Food 4 Kids Backpack Program provides food to 3,500 elementary school students in the county every month ranchandcoast.com 50 FEBRUARY 2024 RANCH & COAST MAGAZINE

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Ranch & Coast Magazine - February 2024