Coosa and Talladega County Needs
In Shelby, Coosa and Talladega Counties about 10,400 students receive free school breakfast and lunch because of low family income, but school only accounts for 187 days of the year. Alabama Childhood Food Solutions (ACFS) starting in Sylacauga is providing food for as many as possible for the other 178 days a year. In 2012 over 3000 bags of food containing up to seven meals each were distributed. That's nearly 21,000 kid size meals . In 2013 we shared 1200 bags per month in nine schools. In 2014 we serve thirty schools weekly to over 1000 children with active plans to add more schools through the fall.
Providing for the Weekend
Typical Sack of Food
ACFS will provide weekend sacks of food to go home with school children on Fridays. These bags will provide 2500-3000 calories of nutritious food.
A typical bag contains oatmeal, grits, peanut butter, Little Debbie Cakes, snack crackers, pop tarts, fruit, ramen noodle dinner and a chef boardee products.
Here’s what kids do with their food:
One girl eats the fruit item right away. She fixes ramen noodles in the microwave on Saturday. Cheese crackers are saved for when there is not enough food.
A boy says he hides his food in his backpack because his mother’s boyfriend would eat it. He reports that his food keeps his belly from hurting.
Another boy says "My mama and daddy work evenings and on the weekend. Without the bag of food I would just starve. No body else cares if I eat or not."
We often hear of children gathering food in the lunch room to take home to their brothers and sisters because there is no food at home.
Providing for the summer
During the summer months, the most reliable way to get food to the children will be to have distribution centers near the school that we serve. As many distributions points as can be funded will be utilized.