Dozens of volunteers organized food and other donated items at Edgemont North Stake’s 9/11 Day of Service held in Provo on September 11. Food items were all packed up into thousands of Kids Nutrition Paks that will be delivered to schools throughout Utah, Wasatch or Summit counties. The packs of easy-to-prepare food will be given to children who might not get enough food at home on the weekends.
Food Packs and Pantry Help Kids in Need in Orem School
How many kids in Utah County don’t get enough food to lead a healthy life? What about in Summit and Wasatch counties? According to Feeding America, the projected child hunger rate in Utah County for 2021 is 12.5 percent. In Wasatch County, it’s 12.7 percent; in Summit, 11.3 percent. It’s easy to see numbers and not feel an impact, but think about it: Between 11.3 percent and 12.7 percent of children in our community don’t have enough food. That’s tens of thousands of children going without food.
No child should ever go hungry. That’s why we distribute food to children in need for weekends and support food pantries in local schools. Keep reading to learn about our Kids Nutrition Paks and how volunteers at Lakeridge Junior. High in Orem are making a difference in kids’ lives.
What Are Kids Nutrition Paks?
Every week, Community Action distributes these bags or boxes of food to children in need through schools. Each one contains seven items that a child can prepare with little to no help from an adult. Each pack contains the following
- 100 percent juice box
- Granola bar
- Fruit cup
- One entree (any microwavable meal, like Kraft Easy Mac or Chef Boyardee)
- Package of fruit snacks
- Package of peanut butter crackers
- Fruit and grain bar
Schools can request a certain number of packs each week, and then people at the school hand them out discreetly. Last year, we distributed 28,362 Kids Nutrition Paks to children in need.
What’s Happening at Lakeridge Jr. High?
Children can’t drive themselves to a food bank, fill out forms, and take groceries home for their families. So when kids don’t have enough to eat at home, there’s not much they can do about it.
Lakeridge officials and volunteers saw that too many students weren’t getting enough to eat at home. So two years ago, they started working to fill the need by opening a food pantry inside the school. They mainly operated on donations, but those dropped last year because of COVID. Inna Solomeina, a PTA volunteer who spearheads the food pantry, discovered that Community Action could help stock the shelves and provide Kid Nutrition Paks.
They keep the packs and other food in the office, and kids are welcome to take what they need, whenever they need it. They also have clothes and hygiene items available.
Sometimes kids are embarrassed about coming to the food pantry, but Inna does her best to encourage them to come in and come back when they need food. Her strategy is working—sometimes, they’ll have a line of 50 kids waiting to get a snack or meal from the pantry.
“No student should go hungry, ever,” Inna says.
We agree with Inna—no child should ever go hungry. With the assistance of volunteers like her and others in our community, we’re helping make a difference in children’s lives with Kids Nutrition Paks and more.