Four local elementary schools are challenging each other to collect the most food and/or raise the most money to buy food to feed thousands of hungry kids. This is the seventh year of the 4 School Food Drive, and students are hoping to reach or exceed $100,000 in donated food for their overall total. They’ve raised $88,632 worth of food during their past six campaigns.
The food drive competition is Nov. 4-8. Upon completion, the food will be delivered to the Serving Our Kids Foundation for children who don’t qualify for government services or other backpack programs and would otherwise have nothing to eat on Saturdays and Sundays. The nonprofit organization currently provides weekend food bags to 3,500 students on Fridays but will double that number to 7,000 food bags to also cover the days when schools are closed for Thanksgiving.
“We’re so appreciative of the annual effort and commitment by the students, teachers and parents of Frank Lamping Elementary School, Glen C. Taylor Elementary School, Shirley and Bill Wallin Elementary School and John C. Vanderburg Elementary School,” said Dale Darcas, executive director of Serving Our Kids Foundation. “Without the support of these schools and others in the community, thousands of kids wouldn’t have enough to eat on weekends. The timing of the 4 School Food Drive is particularly critical for us as we make even more food bags to make sure these vulnerable kids also have food to eat over the Thanksgiving holiday.”
To participate in the 4 School Food Drive, visit https://www.servingourkids.org/shop. Upon clicking on a food item to purchase, there’s a dropdown menu option to credit one of the participating schools. Additionally, donations or designated food from the Serving Our Kids online store can be dropped off at one of the schools during school hours on Nov. 4-8.
School locations are:
• Frank Lamping Elementary School, 2551 Summit Grove Dr., Henderson, NV 89052
• Glen C. Taylor Elementary School, 2655 Siena Heights Dr., Henderson, NV 89052
• Shirley and Bill Wallin, Elementary School, 2333 Canyon Retreat Dr., Henderson, NV 89044
• John C. Vanderburg Elementary School, 2040 Desert Shadow Trail, Henderson, NV 89012
“Our students are excited to participate again in this year’s 4 School Food Drive. They previously helped prepare the food bags which was really helpful to them in understanding the food insecurity experienced by too many kids in our community and the need for food drives like this,” said Wallin Elementary School teachers Jaynee Perez and Lori Sheldon, who are working with the school’s Student Advisory Council to organize their food drive.
Wendy Huang, Lamping Elementary School PTA president, agrees. “This has been an eye-opening and worthwhile experience for our students and school,” she said, adding their appreciation that all the donated food goes directly to kids in need. “It’s so gratifying to our students – to all of us – to be able to help others and help them over the holidays.” The PTA is working with the school’s Beta Club on the food drive for its community service project.
There is a constant need for food drives and donations to support Serving Our Kids’ mission of providing weekend meals to kids in Southern Nevada who would otherwise go hungry. Some of the other upcoming planned drives include an ongoing partnership with area Sam’s Club locations on Saturdays and Nov. 12-22 drives by a SOS Radio, Pinecrest Academy and Doral Academy Red Rock partnership; the Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts; and Spring Valley High School.
There is a waiting list for Serving Our Kids weekend bags. Darcas estimates that number of kids who need nutritional support to be between 8,000 to 10,000.
To meet the growing demand and continue filling the weekend hunger gap, Serving Our Kids has launched a new fundraising initiative to raise awareness about child hunger and food insecurity in the Las Vegas Valley. Called the Fall Food Flash, the campaign is encouraging more people, businesses and organizations to donate funds or designated nutritional food items for those in need, and it encompasses new and existing Serving Our Kids programs and activities to engage the public at all levels.
For more information, donations and volunteering opportunities, visit www.servingourkids.org or call 702-358-1056. The Serving Our Kids warehouse in Henderson serves as the distribution center and site for volunteer activities. It is located at 121 Industrial Park Road, Suite 110.
About Serving Our Kids Foundation
Serving our Kids Foundation is dedicated to feeding and serving the needs of Clark County children. While there are governmental programs and other organizations that provide children in need with breakfast and lunch on weekdays during school, weekends can be an issue. Since 2012, Serving Our Kids has stepped in to fill the weekend nutrition gap of vulnerable kids and now assists 3,500 children, grades K-8, in 70 schools who would otherwise go hungry. Referrals for weekend food bags are up 27 percent over last year, but the actual number of kids needing weekend nutrition assistance is estimated between 8,000 to 10,000. The nonprofit organization mobilizes the strength of community volunteers and donations. In addition to non-perishable food items, personal care items also are collected. For information, donations, volunteering and partnership opportunities, visit http://www.servingourkids.org or call 702-358-1056.
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