Our success stories help tell the story of childhood hunger in a way that numbers cannot. This is done by placing smiles, giggles, and full bellies to the numbers we report. Our stories highlight the gains we are making and feature practices our sponsors have found to work. Child hunger is a large issue in Kentucky and solving it can seem challenging. Nevertheless, our campaign strives to expand the summer meals program so all Kentucky children have access to food in summertime.
Click here to read a story about a successful SFSP that takes the meals to kids. It is run by sponsor Valerie Knight with Webster County schools.
Learn about a refurbished bus and summer meals in Marion County here.
Below is a story about a successful SFSP that partnered with their public library and implemented thematic weekly activities to raise attendance at their sites. It is run by sponsor Geoff Marietta with Pine Mountain Settlement School–a non-profit located in rural Harlan County.
Pine Mountain Settlement School is a non-profit organization located in rural Harlan County. We serve the communities on the north side of Pine Mountainâ€”families in Harlan, Leslie, Letcher, and Bell counties who would have to drive across a mountain pass to get to a town with a grocery store or library. We offer various programs for families and children, including summer camps, but we saw an incredible increase in engagement in 2016 when we began our first year as a summer feeding site.
The beginning was not easy: in our first week only 10 children came to lunchtime. So we reached out and got community feedback on how we could make the program accessible. From the feedback we received, we changed our approach, creating programming for children as young as infants all the way through the teen years, embedding lunch as a small part of fun summer learning opportunities. We partnered with the Harlan County Public Libraries so that children who came to our lunchtime program could meet the goals of their summer reading program and receive the same rewards. Then we added thematic weekly activities. Of particular success was our Science Week, which brought children and families together for fun and interactive science activities, from formulating their own bubble solution to inflating balloons using chemical reactions. Finally, we made all of these events free to parents as well as children. Through these initiatives we served a hot meal to over 100 different children as well as their caregivers, along with fun enrichment activities.