Hoover City Schools

Hoover Organizations Working to Combat Weekend Hunger back button

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30-May-2015 (HOOVER) - It may be summer, but local organizations plan year round to help Hoover school children stave off hunger during school-year weekends.

Recently, some of these organizations gave an overview of their efforts to the Hoover Board of Education. Mrs. Melinda Bonner, Director of Hoover City School's Childhood Nutrition Program, presented data related to the increasing percentage of children eligible or free or reduced lunches in Hoover. She also described how providing free breakfasts and lunches in three Hoover elementary schools positively impacted their academic performance during the school day.  

Hoover resident Greg Bishop, representing Hoover Helps, a non-profit organization, described how some children do not have food to eat when they go home each day or over weekends. Weekender Backpack Programs, sponsored by the Central Alabama Community Food Bank, are used to supply bags of food in children’s backpacks on Fridays so that they have food to eat when school is out.

“A significant number of children in our community are struggling with hunger or are considered 'food insecure.' This is unacceptable.  The Hoover Helps mission is to collaborate and partner with local organizations and the people of Hoover to provide the some of the basic needs of our children,” Bishop said.

Area faith organizations have been assisting in this effort for years.  Green Valley Baptist Church has been providing food via a backpack program for almost eight years. Bluff Park United Methodist Church is working with several other groups and helping three elementary schools address weekend hunger.  Shades Mountain Baptist Church, Shades Mountain Independent Church and the Bluff Park Elementary PTO are working on similar programs. Tyler Christensen, Associate Pastor at Riverchase United Methodist Church, described his church's partnership with Rocky Ridge Elementary School.  Christensen explained that just $4.50 provides a bag of food for a child to eat over the weekend. He described his vision of creating a community movement that will help feed all of our children.  Although great work is being done by the organizations described, there is still a significant unmet need, according to Bishop. To participate in one of the Weekend Backpack Programs currently benefiting Hoover schools, contact Greg Bishop at hooverhelps@gmail.com or visit the church websites.

Hoover Helps is available to assist your organization in starting similar feeding programs.  To make financial contributions toward feeding needy children in Hoover, visit hooverhelps.org or to the Foodbank of Central Alabama at www.feedingal.org.  You may also make donations directly to one of the churches.

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