In 2007, Diana Wall found herself called to a mission. Working with Community Combined Ministries, she founded a program to source, assemble and distribute food packages through the Jefferson and Berkeley County School Districts. Kidz Power Pacs (KPP for short) is designed to provide children food for weekends and school breaks, filling a gap not served by weekday, in-school nutrition programs funded by the government.
For community services organizations, the pandemic & economic crisis have forced drastic changes to operations and funding – at the same time they are called to meet needs on a scale they’ve never experienced.
According to the Farmers Market Coalition (FMC), the USDA partnered with them to provide eligible farmers markets and direct marketing farmers with the equipment necessary to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits—formerly known as the Food Stamps Program.
The afternoon when local resident Kerri Godfrey walked into the Shepherdstown Visitors Center is not one that director Marianne Davis will soon forget. From the onset of their conversation on Friday, January 18, Davis began brainstorming with Godfrey in hopes to offer local residents affected by the 2018-19 government shutdown essential assistance during their time of need.
According to the USDA, more than 13 million children in the United States live in “food insecure” homes, which means those families don’t regularly have enough food to eat. Thankfully, there are two programs in Jefferson and Berkeley County that are making a difference to help end childhood hunger.
To truly improve the academic and social success of students, particularly those who have greater adversity from poverty or toxic stress, we must also support and develop after-school, weekend, and summer-time programming.
Do you know where your next meal will come from? Many Jefferson County residents don’t. But a group of engaged citizens works hard every day to make sure they do. Jennifer Prusha is one of those lending a hand.
Today, there are more than 48.8 million Americans (including 13 million children and 5 million seniors) struggling with food insecurity, according to Feeding America and the USDA. Poverty in America is the leading cause, with more than 40 million people currently living below the poverty line (over half end up being children—many of whom depend on schools for a daily meal).