Wilmington organizations provide food boxes for students with food insecurity ahead of spring break

Wilmington organizations provide food boxes for students with food insecurity ahead of spring break
(Source: WECT)

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The Junior League of Wilmington and NourishNC are teaming up to make sure students in New Hanover County are fed during spring break.

They are holding their annual spring break packing session Wednesday and Thursday.

During this two-day period, more than 100 volunteers will pack 1,000 boxes of food that will be delivered to elementary, middle, and high school students living with food insecurity.

"Our program currently serves a little over 1,000 children," said NourishNC Executive Director Steve McCrossan. "We serve those kids every weekend and over school breaks. So with school break coming up, a lot of our children rely on free lunch."

One in four children in the community lives with food insecurity. They get both breakfast and lunch at school, and if school is closed, they may not have access to food.

Each box will contain 10 days worth of breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and milk.

"In the box is three meals a day, so breakfast, lunch, and dinner every single day, nutritious snacks, and then every child also gets 20 pounds of produce," McCrossan said. "This time is collards, potatoes, apples, oranges, cucumbers and bananas, and lean ground turkey. We want to make sure we're giving them nutritious food, not just anything but well thought out, dietician reviewed food that will kind of nurture their body and their mind."

The Junior League will be responsible for packing 500 of the 1,000 boxes. The group also sponsors 55 weekend food boxes for New Hanover County students.

"We really feel like part of our mission is to help break down the barriers of education," said Junior League President-elect Sasha Kammer. "A huge barrier for a lot of our kids is hunger and when they go to school, they don't perform as well. They have behavioral problems. By giving them these meals that they count on when they're in school, we hope will help them keep their education through the break and keep them out of trouble."

NourishNC relies heavily on community donations to operate.

"We're blessed that we're supported by the community. Literally the members of our community buy this food for our kids," McCrossan said. "We thrive on donations. People can actually sponsor a kid at nourishnc.org and for $35 you could pay for a kid's break box. ... We're blessed that this community cares enough about our children to really support NourishNC's work."

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