No Child Goes Hungry (NCGH) is pleased to provide a $5,000 donation to the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore to support its childhood hunger assistance program at the William Paca Elementary School in East Baltimore. The First Unitarian Church of Baltimore is beginning its ninth year of providing volunteer work and hunger-relief advocacy work to families in need at the school.
One of the Church’s most successful initiatives in partnership with the William Paca School is its Weekend Survival Kit program. In collaboration with the local nonprofit, Heart’s Place Services, and the Maryland Food Bank, the Church stretches every available dollar. It can keep one family supplied with Weekend Survival Kits for the 33-week-long school year at the cost of only $660 per kit.
Each kit provides nonperishable food for a family of four,” said First Unitarian Church of Baltimore member and volunteer coordinator Roberta Van Meter. “ When the schools closed in March, we were providing kits to 40 families experiencing homelessness. Since the schools closed, school staff has continued with our staff packing and distributing the kits.”
To coordinate the kit packaging, church volunteers meet at the William Paca schools on Thursdays to assemble the kits for students in need to pick-up on Fridays.
“Each kit contains enough nonperishable food for the weekend,” said Van Meter. “They include canned ham, canned Vienna sausages, a box of cereal, a jar of peanut butter, a jar of preserves, snacks, milk and juice boxes, fruit cups, a loaf of bread, bowls and utensils. Once a month, we also include dental supplies.”
According to Van Meter, with COVID-19 closing schools and causing parents to lose their jobs or be laid off, the need for hunger-relief support has escalated.
“We began last year packing survival kits for 25 families,” said Van Meter. “By March that number had increased to 40 families. We anticipate additional needs this year due to the ongoing pandemic health crisis.”
As the need to support our at-risk communities is never-ending, so is the Church’s effort to raise the funding needed to maintain the Weekend Survival Kit program.
During the year, we raise funds in our congregation for our programs at the school,” said Rev. David Carl Olson, lead minister at the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore. “We are so grateful for the support of No Child Goes Hungry in our battle against childhood hunger.”
“It is an honor to support the work of the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore and their passionate volunteers working tirelessly to support families in need,” said NCGH Founder and Director Kären Rasmussen. “We understand that the COVID-19 crisis has applied unprecedented pressure to the already devastating issue of childhood hunger in communities across our nation. We are grateful, every day, for the kindness and compassion of individuals such as the church volunteers supporting the William Paca School for their heroic efforts to make an impact on the lives of
To learn how NCGH can help support your local hunger advocacy initiative, contact us today.