Our goal is to combat hunger through the Summer Food Program which targets 275 low-income families with school aged children (K-12) who are on free or reduced lunch in up to 9 counties. We provide food, paper products, cleaning supplies and personal hygiene products through the summer months. We provide the families food boxes at the end of May, June, and July.
We focus our services in 9 counties in upper east Tennessee. According to 2016 poverty statistics reported by the USDA, 28.2% of children in the counties that we serve are living in poverty. In Tennessee, 49% of children are enrolled in free or reduced lunch in schools. Among the 9 counties we serve, 62% children are enrolled in free or reduced lunch. These alarming numbers show us that over half of the families are are finding it difficult to meet their financial needs during the summer months.
We are strategically selecting 275 families who are at or below 138% of the Federal Poverty Level and meet either criteria to not only provide assistance but to extended educational resources to help alleviate them from systematic and situational poverty.
Families in the communities that we serve are often not educated on the resources available for them throughout the year. We will address this issue by providing community resource guides to each family. This guide will include information on where to receive assistance and guidance for food, clothing, housing, social services, counseling, job training, etc. We will also enroll the 275 families in a financial literacy workshop to equip them with the tools necessary to combat systematic poverty.