Two local nonprofit organizations have teamed up to continue helping children in need during the challenges the coronavirus outbreak presents to both agencies with social distancing measures, panic buying, and inaccessibility to normal food drives and delivery channels.
Spread the Word Nevada, which provides books to at-risk kids, donated 1,500 books, more than 5,000 juice boxes, and over 5,000 granola bars to the Serving Our Kids Foundation, which delivers weekend food bags to K-8 students, who don’t qualify for government nutrition or other backpack programs and would otherwise go hungry on Saturday and Sunday. With the donation, kids also received books in their food bags.
“Since schools are closed, we’re not able to conduct our normal programming; but we still wanted to help children and other nonprofit agencies during the shutdown,” said Jodi Gilliland, Spread the Word Nevada director of programs. “The food bags Serving Our Kids delivers still allow us to help, particularly for youth who can’t access online resources. Books provide a great way to keep kids entertained and further their education at home.”
“We’re so appreciative of the generous donation from Spread the Word of Nevada. Not only are we getting needed items for hungry kids, but the books are an extra treat for them,” said Joe DiRaffaele, Serving Our Kids board member. “This is particularly important during this time of uncertainty when families are looking for more activities with their kids home from school. This is a win-win-win for Spread the Word Nevada, Serving Our Kids Foundation and, importantly, the kids.”
Serving Our Kids relies on community support to fund or donate designated food items for the weekend food bags, and also filling them on Thursdays. Volunteers subsequently deliver them to schools and students on Fridays. The food bags are provided to 3,500 homeless and at-risk children, based on referrals by school principals, teachers and counselors. There is a waiting list for the bags, and Serving Our Kids estimates the need to be between 8,000 to 10,000.
During this time, the public can still help by buying designated food items from the Serving Our Kids online store or monetary donations at www.servingourkids.org, or purchasing designated items and dropping them off at the Serving Our Kids warehouse, 121 Industrial Park Rd., Ste. 110, in Henderson, from noon to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. For information, visit www.servingourkids.org or call 702-358-1056.
About Spread the Word Nevada
Spread the Word Nevada, Inc., is a children’s literacy nonprofit, 501(c) (3) corporation, dedicated to advancing early childhood literacy by placing books into the hands and homes of children within Nevada’s at-risk, low income communities. While developing a love of reading, these libraries promote future academic achievement and self-confidence, which impacts lifelong success. Since 2001, Spread the Word Nevada has distributed more than 5.5 million gently used and new books to approximately 575,200 low-income youth in Nevada. Please visit www.SpreadTheWordNevada.org to learn more about program details or call at (702) 564-7809. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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.