Community takes action against childhood hunger

Children pick out options to make a wholesome lunch. The ‘Childhood Hunger Doesn’t Take a Summer Vacay’ summer fundraising campaign will run through July 23, and individuals and businesses are being asked to help raise funds to prevent childhood hunger and food insecurity in the community.
Children facing hunger will receive much needed assistance from local non-profit People of Action Caring for Kids, also known as PACK. The ‘Childhood Hunger Doesn’t Take a Summer Vacay’ summer fundraising campaign will run through July 23, and individuals and businesses are being asked to help raise funds to prevent childhood hunger and food insecurity in the community.

“Summer should be about relaxing and making fun memories,” said Malena Stone, founder of PACK. “However, summer often brings stress and anxiety for children who depend on school breakfast and lunch to meet their nutritional needs.”

In Georgia, over 23% of children live in food-insecure homes. The campaign fundraising goal of $15,000 would sponsor food for 100 local children for a year. To help PACK achieve this goal, The Eichholz Law Firm has pledged to match donations made during this summer campaign up to $7,500.

“The goal of the Summer Feeding Campaign is to sponsor 100 children, which will provide a bag of food each weekend for one year; so each child would get 52 bags of food,” Stone said. “Although we feed 3,000 kids each week, currently only a handful of them have sponsors. This means that we are perpetually fundraising to buy food. We believe sponsoring a child is a concrete way for members of our community to make a difference locally all year long.”

Founded in 2013 as a kitchen table project with her three sons to learn the value of loving and serving others, Stone and her family began providing 50 bags a week to children needing food assistance on the weekends. Eight years later, they are delivering 12,000 bags of food each month to 37 schools and community centers. PACK currently serves Savannah as well as Richmond Hill, Pooler, Effingham and Bloomingdale.

This volunteer-led non-profit is hoping this first ever summer fundraising campaign will help provide further assistance to those in need. Students who receive free or reduced lunch are eligible for the feeding program, and schools and community centers who enroll in the PACK program help qualify students to receive donations.

click to enlarge A teacher helps a child make a wholesome lunch. The ‘Childhood Hunger Doesn’t Take a Summer Vacay’ summer fundraising campaign will run through July 23, and individuals and businesses are being asked to help raise funds to prevent childhood hunger and food insecurity in the community. - PHOTO COURTESY OF PACK
Photo courtesy of PACK
A teacher helps a child make a wholesome lunch. The ‘Childhood Hunger Doesn’t Take a Summer Vacay’ summer fundraising campaign will run through July 23, and individuals and businesses are being asked to help raise funds to prevent childhood hunger and food insecurity in the community.
“Children who struggle with food insecurity need us more than ever during the summer when schools and programs are closed,” Stone said.

With schools closed during the pandemic, The Eichholz Law Firm was looking for ways to make a difference in the community and a partnership with PACK was formed. David Eichholz, managing partner of The Eichholz Law Firm said, “Hunger and food insecurity unfortunately affects many children and families in the Savannah area. PACK and its dedicated volunteers have demonstrated an incredible commitment to feeding local kids. The Eichholz Law Firm is grateful for the opportunity to support this summer campaign as a matching sponsor.”

While the feeding program is PACK’s largest endeavor, they also recently opened the PACK Boutique, currently serving 80 local children in foster care/CASA care. Children are able to come in every three months and choose new clothes, accessories, toiletries and toys at no cost until they are 18-years old. In addition, the PACK Cottages serve children in crisis and are accessible 24-hours a day to social workers and emergency workers. The cottages provide food, clothing, toiletries and comfort items to children in need. PACK also provides school supplies and Christmas gifts to approximately 1,000 children.

People of Action Caring for Kids is committed to inspiring the next generation of volunteers and to providing family-friendly service experiences for people of all ages. For information about Pack, or to donate, visit packsavannah.com. The Eichholz Law Firm is committed to fighting for justice and increased social responsibility in the community. For information, visit thejusticelawyer.com.

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