Paying for school meals should not be a burden!
Did you know?
Some of our neighbors can’t afford to feed their children three meals a day and families often go hungry. This includes some of them not being able to afford school meals and going into debt to provide breakfast and lunch for their children. Some of those children end up hungry because they could not eat.
Hunger can impact a child’s….
- Physical growth and development
- Immune system
- Brain development and behavior
- Ability to learn and retain information
- Academic achievement
Did you know?
The available relief to families does not meet the full need in our community.
In 2018, students living at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Line qualified for reduced price breakfast and lunch while students living at or below 130% of the Federal Poverty Line qualified for free breakfast and lunch. But many advocates agree that living at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Line, which was an income of $49,200 for a family of 4 in 2017 is still considered economically disadvantaged, meaning, families struggle to make basic ends meet like food, housing, and transportation.
That means there are people in a loop hole of sorts, they make too much money to qualify for help but not enough money to cover all of their obligations and bills. Some of these families in Newport News and Hampton have racked up School Meal Debt and can’t pay it. They may be in danger of further financial insecurity if their debt goes any further.
What can we do about it?
We are trying to help the problem in two ways:
- Addressing the families that need help NOW
- Helping prevent this from happening to more families
Here’s what you can do:
- Last year, we made 75% of our goal. Let’s aim for 100% this year! We are trying to raise $5,000 to erase school meal debt. Every single penny we raise will go toward erasing school meal debt for local students in Newport News and Hampton public schools. Click here to donate today!
- Join us in this fight! Learn more about how you can impact policies and help families who need us. We had our last meeting in March and we are in the planning process for our next actions. Join the team and stay up to date on upcoming events, actions, opportunities, and initiatives with VA BLOC by signing up at: tinyurl.com/vabloc
Celebrate the work so far!!
- In 2018, we collected $3743 of our $5000 goal thanks to your generosity! On Tuesday, June 26, 2018, VA BLOC, Rev. Maxwell with InTouch CDC and New Beech Grove Baptist Church, and Valerie Price of St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church and Lambda Omega Chapter of AKAs delivered the checks to the Newport News and Hampton school systems nutrition services offices to help pay off some of the debt. We tried to help relieve their debt before it goes any further and threatens the family’s financial security. Not all of the division’s debt was covered, showing that we have more work to do on both fundraising and policy change.
- We have also reached more than 2,000 people, raising awareness about School Meal Debt, the impacts of Childhood Hunger, and how to advocate for change!