Press Release – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2024
NourishNC pilots Hispanic Food Bag program
NourishNC is excited to pilot a new Hispanic weekend food bag menu for children on the Backpack Program. This new weekend food bag menu will include a wide variety of products like Hispanic entrees, rice, beans, plantain chips, pepitas, and culturally appropriate foods. This menu will be an option as part of NourishNC’s Backpack Program which provides food insecure children, pre-K through 5th grade, with three nutritious meals a day, every weekend, and over every school break. The Hispanic Food Bag will be tested at three New Hanover County Elementary Schools for 5 months, at which point it will be determined if the program can/should be scaled up to all pre-K through 5th grade schools. The packing and distribution process will be tested from NourishNC’s warehouse, to school, to child, and to the home in order to identify pinch points and potential scalability.
“We believe that offering food preferred by Latino families will increase the likelihood of enjoyment and consumption. Our aim is to ensure everyone feels connected to and excited about the meals they receive,” said Misty Britt, Social Worker at Bradley Creek Elementary School. NourishNC Executive Director, Steve McCrossan, added “This new Hispanic menu is all about making sure that every food insecure child in our community has access to the food they know and love – which makes it that much easier for NourishNC to end food insecurity.”
To kick-off the program, a special packing event that included community partners from the New Hanover County Office of Diversity and Equity, Clinica Latina, Port City United, Hispanic Latino Commission, Cape Fear Latinos, Communities in Schools, El Cuerpo and the Latino Alliance was held in January where participants packed 650 Hispanic Food Bags. The bags feature four rotating menus including items specially sourced from Chata, a Hispanic foods brand. NourishNC will invite school staff and administration to provide feedback during the entire process of the pilot program. Anonymous surveys will also be sent to schools and participating parents.
NourishNC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to “provide healthy food to hungry children, empowering them to succeed in the classroom and in their community.” Their goal is to enhance children’s health and well-being by preventing the disastrous consequences of child hunger. NourishNC distributed over 600,000 meals last year via its three programs: The Backpack Program provides food insecure children, pre-K through 5th grade, with three nutritious meals a day, every weekend, and over every school break. The Market on Market (The MoM) is a full-service grocery store where food insecure children, pre-K through 12th grade, and their families can shop to choose the food that is best for them. NourishNC offers an in-house grocery store and a mobile grocery store that goes wherever our kids need us. The Food Farmacy Program provides nonperishable and fresh food items through partner organizations such as schools, pediatrician offices, and other nonprofits.