Food For Thought

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Food, shelter, clothing. These are basic needs for a human's well being. Thousands of children in our community wonder if or when they will eat their next meal. That is the definition of food insecurity. 1.1 Million children in the state of Florida live with food insecurity. 10,000 in Walton and Okaloosa counties live in food insecure homes. In 2010, Tiffanie Shelton discovered a few children going to school with her kids weren't eating over the weekends and were mainly receiving school breakfasts and lunches as their primary source of food. This was the beginning of Food For Thought.

Food For Thought provides backpacks filled with healthy, easy to prepare food for students who are dependent on free or reduced school meals. With a goal to support a child’s development and educational experience by bridging the gap between school meals during weekends and holiday breaks, they offer services to every student on a free or reduced meal plan. Three years ago, Food For thought was feeding 125 children a week, now they are serving 770 a week, and by the time the new school year starts, 1200 children per week will be served. The children that are fed by Food For Thought depend on the school system for their food. When they are not in school, they are not guaranteed access to food. What they have found is that a significant percentage of the children they are feeding are also homeless. In Fort Walton alone, there are 375 children in the school system that are homeless. 

Food For Thought has doubled almost every year. A lot of the growth in the fall will come from expanding into Fort Walton Beach. They are adding 4 schools, one of which is another DCWAF beneficiary, AMIKids.  

In a typical backpack, the first week of the month, a hungry child would find peanut butter & jelly, a whole loaf of bread, 4 healthy snacks (granola bars, snack crackers), 2 pieces of fruit, breakfast items such as oatmeal, and vegetables. On other weeks, they may get soup, tuna fish which the kids love, and applesauce is highly requested especially to share with the younger siblings. Extremely heatlh focused, they work tirelessly to ensure each backpack provided includes healthy grains, fruits, vegetables, and protein so each child and their family can easily prepare the healthiest meal possible.

Food For Thought is always accepting donations at their pantry, and by supporting the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation and attending our events, you are directly impacting the monetary support of our 14 beneficiary charities, including Food For Thought! #YouCanHelp

 

For more information, such as donation locations, pantry items needed, and opportunities to volunteer, please email info@fftfl.org


Posted on Thursday, May 28, 2015

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