KERNERSVILLE, N.C. -- One in four children go hungry in North Carolina. More than 479,000 children are what’s called food insecure. When they’re not in school, many of them don’t know where their next meal may come from or how they’re going to eat.
Three churches in Kernersville have formed a partnership to create a food bridge to carry students through the weekend and back to class Monday.
“A friend and I had been going to lunch with our children at the school and noticed there were kids that would stick a piece of fruit or something in their pocket to have for later, or if we took a special lunch for our children they would say, 'Oh can I have some?' And we just kind of started taking notice of that,” Sarah VonCannon said.
When she talked to the principal, she found out there were at least 100 students at the school who were facing food insecurity. She took the idea for a backpack program to her church, Union Cross Baptist. They asked Union Cross Moravian if they wanted to help. And then Gina Newnum got the Summit Church involved.
They take the boxes to the school every Friday, serving more than 70 students. The boxes include cereal, apple sauce, milk and canned goods. The contents are enough to get the kids through the weekend and back to school on Monday without being hungry so they focus on what they need to do in school and that’s be students.
“You hear how kids are coming to school hungry and they really can’t concentrate, because it’s not that there’s a lack of ability there,” Newnum said. “There’s just a basic need that’s not being met.”
While they give of their time and treasure, this group gets something in return: a sense of community that money can’t buy.
“I think the best part is these events like this where we come together and we pack the food up and we talk to each other and just have some fellowship,” VonCannon said.
“At our last meeting, I remember us just sitting there and wondering what do you need and we all prayed for each other and I think that’s huge. Prayer unifies,” Newnum said.
Their prayer for Union Cross and every school in the Triad is that the number of children who need this kind of help stops growing.