Volunteers key to outreach to feed hungry children during the summer.
For more information contact:
Tift County School
Barry Barbee, AutoWranglers.com
Volunteers key to outreach to feed hungry children during the summer
A program that brings free, healthy and nutritious meals to Tift County children during the week is getting a boost from a local business.
The Summer Feeding program is sponsored by the Tiftarea YMCA and covers all the counties which the Y services. Children from toddlers to 18 years old are fed at various sites across Tifton, Tift County and the surrounding counties.
“We know a lot of these children depend on schools for meals during the school year. During the summer, they have to get by as best they can,” said Brandi Williams BackPack Blessings Coordinator with Journey Church Backpack Blessings. “These are children. They need good, solid meals during the summer too.”
The program is run mostly by volunteers. Local business AutoWranglers is pitching in daily by sending employees to feeding sites to help serve meals and work with the children.
“That’s our mission at AutoWranglers. We give back because we have been given so much,” said company President Barry Barbee. “We don’t consider this a cost. We consider it an investment in children. It will pay off in the long term when these children become adults and themselves turn to help other children.”
The Summer Feeding Program delivers thousands of meals across the region each weekday. Meals are cooked in schools in each community and then taken to various locations, said Licia Nicholson, Tift County Schools nutrition director. In 2011, the program served 34,105 meals in Tift County alone.
The program is not just meals. Each day has some sort of fun activity for the children. Pricilla Bell, the Food for Thought volunteer director, said the Y wants children to be active as well as properly fed.
“The school systems take care of cooking the food,” said Jimmy Moore, CEO of the Tiftarea YMCA. “Where we need volunteers is at the feeding sites. We wish more companies in across our service area would help the way AutoWranglers.com does. It only takes an hour a day, but the difference you can make in the lives of these children will last a lifetime.”
Mr. Barbee also encouraged other businesses to get involved.
“You’ll never get a greater sense of satisfaction than making a difference in the life of a child,” he said. “This one hour a day is going to mean more than you can imagine to these children. Give it a try.”
For more information about the Summer Feeding and Fun program and how to volunteer call the YMCA at 229-391-9622 or AutoWranglers.com at 1-877-845-7378. The program will run for several more weeks.