Feed the Kids
Feed the Kids is a grass-roots volunteer program that shops, packs, and delivers food bags weekly to schools where kids have been identified as having little or no food at home. Several teams in New Mexico churches have been established over the last three years and are equipped to sustain their programs at designated schools. We are in the process of expanding this program to partner more churches with their neighborhood schools.
Three years ago after a Bible study convicted Sheryl Stewart and a few of her study members to get out of the church and into the community, Feed the Kids was born.
Now each week teams pack and deliver a food bag to about 150 children throughout the East Mountains and into Albuquerque. The food includes non-perishable items such as instant oatmeal, hot chocolate mix, juice boxes, Ramen noodles, macaroni and cheese, granola bars, cheesy crackers, etc. We work with each school to tailor the bags to fit the lifestyle of the kids there, e.g. some are fairly self sufficient and can cook, others need microwave-only types of foods. The Counselor, who is our Point of Contact evaluates each family for their needs, so we can pack a food bag for each child of the family who is in school there.
Food Insecurity in New Mexico is #1 in the nation, not the #1 we want to be. Food Insecurity causes anxiety and fear. These kids don’t know when they will eat again or what they will eat. We can make a difference by feeding the kids so they can focus in school and learn so they can be productive people and change their circumstances.
Teachers and counselors have told us that after this program has been in place for even a semester, the kids are more focused, the absenteeism is less, they participate, and they are improving in their studies.
How to get involved:
People can get involved in several ways.
*Some of the churches we work with have arranged that their folks can write a check and note on the memo line Feed the Kids. For $20 per month you can sponsor a child so they have food for every weekend of the month.
*Others like to shop and we have a list of the nonperishable foods for those shoppers. They can bring the food to their church or let us know and we’ll pick it up.
*And a third way is that folks may not be able to sponsor or purchase foods but they can help pack and deliver the food bags.
Some of the Process for How Churches and Schools Get Matched
The referrals of schools come faster and heavier than can be matched with churches in their neighborhoods. Most of the schools in the ABQ area have high needs when it comes to kids needing food. As churches learn more about Feed the Kids they are looking to get more involved in their communities, and they want to make an impact in those neighborhoods with the practical, physical ministry of Feed the Kids. The CBA Office is most helpful in supporting those partnerships and helping churches and Feed the Kids get connected.
The director meets with churches to support them in the beginning stages of establishing their own Feed the Kids program. They will help with the shopping, packing, and delivering until everyone on the team is comfortable and they are ready to sustain the program. Sometimes it takes several churches to partner in order to be able to support the large numbers of students needing help.
They also meet with the school contacts and gathers their needs so each Feed the Kids program can be tailored to meet the needs of the kids there. Often the leaders of the church attend the meetings at the school or their team leaders do so there is a relationship with the church in the community supporting their local school.
Want to learn more? Want to get involved? Ask questions?
Contact our team leader, Rose Alexa, at [email protected]
Click here to download the information booklet
Feed the Kids — UNM Senior Communications Project Team chose Feed the Kids as their service project. On-line students from CA to NM gathered non-perishable foods and delivered them to the Parent-Teacher Liaison, Sue Gibson, for Moriarty Elementary School’s Backpacks of Hope (FTK) program. Superintendent Tom Sullivan was there to meet and thank the students. Sue and Sheryl Stewart have served on this FTK team for 3.5 years, packing bags of foods for 40-50 students per week. Administration tells us the children receiving these bags have improved their grades in the core curriculum as well as their ability to focus and interact with their classmates. Feed the Kids is in ten schools throughout New Mexico and always anxious to meet and work with more churches and schools to feed more NM children who need food at home.