This blog post was written by Pack to Plate's new Executive Director, Cecile Riker
Greetings! Cecile here. My deepest apologies for the lack of blog content lately...Pack to Plate has been very busy since May and unfortunately, blogging was one of the things that was not on my "immediate To-Do" list. You might be thinking, "Wait a second - School is out of session! Surely they're not THAT busy." Boy, you could not be more wrong. Here's a little bit about what Pack to Plate has been up to so far this summer:
Helping out with various Summer Feeding programs: Athens is fortunate to house a number of organizations willing to help fill the hunger gap during months when children are out of school and unable to access a cafeteria. There are a several different summer feeding programs implemented by local agencies, all with the goal of making sure kids have access to food.
One of these programs, Smart Lunch Smart Kid, is operated by Actions Ministries with the help of the Clarke County School District. Prepared lunches are bussed out to 9 different sites around the community, and anyone under the age of 18 can have a lunch (a very substantial lunch, I might add - thanks to CCSD!) for free. Pack to Plate visits several sites each week and provides nutrition-related activities for the kids. You might find us and our new friends digging for vegetables, calculating the amount of sugar in different sweetened beverages, or taste-testing new fruits.
The Athens Housing Authority also operates a summer feeding program, and we were lucky enough to attend one of their kickoff event towards the beginning of June. Thanks to the help of the fabulous volunteers who donated their Thursday afternoon, we facilitated two different activities for over 90 kids! And it was an absolute blast. Here's a full list of summer lunch sites around Clarke County:
Tabling at the Athens Farmers Market: Since Pack to Plate is still such a young organization, simply talking to people about what we are doing (and what we want to do) is critical; name recognition is important in a town with such a large, diverse network of nonprofits. We have developed a presence at the Athens Farmers Market and have really enjoyed the opportunity to get our name out in the community. Find us at Bishop Park on Saturdays from 8am to 12pm and load up on some delicious, locally grown produce.
Developing a food literacy curriculum and preparing for the upcoming school year: We plan on heading into the 2015-2016 school year with our own set of engaging and informative food literacy lessons. We have spent alot of time researching existing curriculums, and although I get to interact with kids in their own neighborhoods almost daily, I can't wait to be in classrooms again!
As you can see after reading all this, we are busy and anxious and excited for what is in store for Pack to Plate! While I don't want to wish "summer" away, I can't wait for August...
Until next time!
This blog post was written by Pack to Plate Public Relations Captain, Cecile Riker
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