LEWISBURG — Tri-County North Local School District partnered with Community of Faith and Success Liaison April Gross to host the recent “For the Kids” food drive for students of all ages.
Families are able to pick up bags of food containing seven days worth of breakfasts and lunches every Thursday from 3-5 p.m. at 111 Water Street, Lewisburg.
According to Superintendent Bill Derringer, when schools were first closed due to COVID-19, the area school districts tried to brainstorm different ways to feed their students. The first was working with the Success Liaisons to house food distributions in all five school districts. Unfortunately, that program proved to not be sustainable. Now, the superintendents are all working with their individual communities and staff to feed their students.
In Lewisburg, Community of Faith is providing the volunteers and collecting monetary donations to purchase food. Tri-County North is also ordering food through the school, in addition to collecting donations of food and money for food.
Thursday, March 26 was the first day Tri-County North hosted the “Food the Kids” food drive and the district did not have the numbers officials hoped for or expected.
There is plenty of food for all families who are interested or need this food to feed their children. Parents pull into the alley at 111 Water Street and don’t even have to leave their cars to pick up the food bags.
“We’re going to continue to do this and see how it continues to go,” Derringer said. “It’s going pretty good right now. Again, our numbers last week were down. The first week [through the Success Liaisons] we got rid of 75 bags, which was all we had, in 20 minutes. That might have made things go a little slower last week. People thought if they got here late, they wouldn’t get any left, but we’re hoping to hand out 200 bags. We’re going to plan for more than that, but I’m hoping around 200 bags.”
Derringer believes as long as the school is still educating students, it is the school district’s responsibility to make sure students have access to the same food they would be getting in the school building.
“There are a lot of people who have been laid off, there is a lot of hard times [people] are going through, as everyone is aware. We just want to make sure our kids aren’t out there hungry. We’re still trying to educate them the best we can and expecting them to continue doing their work. Obviously, if their basic needs of food aren’t being met, they’re not going to be able to get an education either. We want to keep them healthy and it helps out the families going through the hard times,” he said.
“I want to thank our community, they’ve been wonderful with their donations and contributions. I want to thank Community of Faith and all their members — not just them, but the community as a whole and the local food banks that worked with us. The entire Tri-County North community has been wonderful in this process. We want to continue to do this, so we’re going to continue to need them and we’ll do the best we can as a school.”
Food is received both from Tri-County North School District and community donations. Those donations are still being accepted Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Community of Faith Youth Building, 219 N. Commerce Street, at the backdoor. The following items would be appreciated: oatmeal packets, granola bars, Pop-Tarts, easy mac, chips, canned soup, ravioli, Ramen noodles, Chef Boyardee, peanut butter crackers, applesauce, fruit cups, jello, pudding, goldfish crackers, Cheez-It crackers, and animal crackers.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH