10 Reasons To Donate Healthy Snacks For Kids With The “Back-To-School Snacks Project” #Dole4Kids
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I was so excited to have the opportunity to work with the “Champions for Kids” program again! Our last project was a huge success and I couldn’t wait to see the impact we would have this time around. The Dole “Back-to-School Snacks” Project hit a little close to home for our family. My husband is the principal of a middle school in a poverty stricken area. I can’t even count the number of times he’s told me about students not functioning well because they are so hungry when they get to school. Many times it’s because they didn’t get dinner the night before, let alone breakfast! Several times my husband has driven his students across the street to McDonald’s to get something to eat. Yes, you can qualify for free or reduced lunch, but that doesn’t solve the problem when they don’t have any food in their homes. I couldn’t think of a better place to donate the healthy snacks we bought and collected! I knew my husband would make sure they got into the right hands.
After learning a little more about the Champions for Kids program, we headed to our local Walmart to pick out some healthy snacks for the kids at my husband’s school, Don Mensendick Elementary. I decided on the new Dole Squish’ems. With 4th-8th graders, I thought they would need something they could eat on the go and the Squish’ems were the perfect solution! Plus my husband would be able to slip a couple into the hands of students that visit him in his office without them being embarrassed or ashamed. Most of the kids don’t even want to tell their teachers they are hungry, but if they knew there was a healthy snack in Mr. V’s office, they might stop by.
The Champions for Kids “Back-To-School Snacks” Project is really quite simple. Here it is broken down into 4 easy steps:
- GATHER your community to collect nutritious back to school snacks.
- COUNT the number of snacks you collected and take photos!
- DONATE the snacks you collect to a local school nurse, teacher, social-worker, or food pantry to help children in your community enjoy their first days back to school.
- DOUBLE your impact by reporting your project at championsforkids.org/share during the month of August 2013. Let us know how many people were involved and how many items you collected, and Dole will make a matching donation of up to 1,000 Dole Fruit Squish’ems!™ through Champions for Kids to help children in need!
I did a little bit of research online to see how AZ ranked with the rest of the US for hunger issues. Turns out, it’s pretty bad. Arizona’s hunger rates are higher than national averages with 29.9% of Arizonan children facing hunger, compared to 22.4% nationally. Arizona ranks third in the country for high child food insecurity rates with 478,420 children facing hunger on a daily basis. 2 million Arizonans are considered working poor, living at or below the Federal Poverty Guideline. This information was very unsettling and made me so thankful for the work Dole and Champions for Kids is doing to solve this problem! Our kids need us now more than ever!
Before sending the Dole Squish’ems to school with my husband, I asked members of our church to drop off any unopened, healthy snacks for kids. I sent in the first batch before school started and they were so thankful! They keep their extra food in the nurses office and my husband also keeps a stash in his own office. I’m hoping to send in another box in a week or so. Nutrition is such an important part of being successful in school! I just hope that what we donated will make some sort of difference with the students who struggle on a daily basis. If anything, it may encourage others to check out this amazing program and help in their own communities!
Here are 10 reasons to donate healthy snacks for kids with the Champions for Kids ”Back-To-School Snacks” project”:
1 – During the month of August 2013 Dole will make a matching donation of up to 1,000 Dole Fruit Squish’ems through Champions for Kids to help children in need!
2 – By donating healthy snacks, like Dole Squish’ems, you will literally be filling a hungry tummy!
3 – If others in your community hear about your project, they might be inspired to participate in their own!
4 – Take this opportunity to teach your kids about charity work! Let them help you pick out the items and go with you to donate them.
5 – Dole fruit snacks are much healthier than others that are loaded with high fructose corn syrup!
6 – Good nutrition habits can last a lifetime. By giving kids healthy snacks while they’re young, they are more likely to continue that lifestyle.
7 – This may be a selfish reason, but doing service and charity work is so gratifying!
8 – There may be some kids who do get breakfast in the form of a donut or some other unhealthy option. Hopefully after trying Dole Squish’ems, they will see that healthy food can taste just as good!
9 – Just thinking about how thankful these underprivileged kids will be after getting a good snack to boost their energy is reason enough to participate!
10 – By participating in the Champions for Kids program, you can help them reach their goal of mobilizing 20 million people by 2020!