Activities Beyond the Classroom was recently awarded a $49,800 grant from Hamilton County’s CARES Act funding to provide shelf-stable food to Cincinnati Public Schools students and families. This grant will enable ABC to provide 3,000 boxes of food to students and their families in the coming months.
While CPS is providing two meals per day for students on school days, this grant is specifically focused on providing boxes of carefully selected and packaged non-perishable foods for weekends and days away from school. The grant recipients will be families of students who attend a CPS school where ABC is the lead agency and employs a Resource Coordinator. These schools include Roselawn Condon, Aiken High, Cheviot, Frederick Douglass, Woodford Paideia, College Hill Fundamental Academy, Carson, Winton Hills, Silverton, and Covedale.
In addition, recipients include families of Project Connect, of which ABC is the fiscal sponsor. Project Connect serves children and their families who are experiencing homelessness.
“We are thrilled to provide this service to the children we serve,” said Sally Grimes, ABC Director of Advancement. “While overcoming food insecurity isn’t directly in ABC’s mission of providing extracurriculars, we have learned to be nimble and to quickly pivot in order to meet the greatest needs of CPS families during this pandemic.”
To ensure the food gets to where it’s most needed, ABC will partner with Childhood Food Solutions (CFS), a local nonprofit that provides boxes of groceries to elementary school children. Each box of food that CFS constructs and delivers includes graham crackers, peanut butter, “Fruit & Grain” bars, bite-size shredded wheat cereal, ramen noodles, and macaroni & cheese. Some items are chosen for their nutrition, some for their familiarity and acceptance, and some because they “gum up your mouth” and provide time for the food to fill the stomach. The strategy of slow eating overcomes a food-insecure child’s first instinct to eat all their food at once – food is saved for later. In effect, children learn to budget the food they have received.
Jen Kramer-Wine, Executive Director of CFS, said, “We are grateful for our partnership with ABC, which will allow CFS to serve twice as many families in CPS – many of whom report that the box of shelf-stable groceries will help ‘more than you know.’”
If your family attends one of the schools listed above and would like to be a part of this program, complete this google form: https://forms.gle/JRtyAfXwZzaR551x5 or send your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about CFS, visit http://childhoodfoodsolutions.org.