What Are NourishNC’s Plans for When Students Return to School?

Steve McCrossan, Executive Director

In short? Keep going.

Ok, you asked, so here is the much longer version:

Continue to Operate Our No Contact Food Distribution Drive-Thru

We opened the drive-thru for kids on our Backpack Program on March 17 and never stopped. Moving forward, the drive-thru will open 2-3 times per month and will provide each child with 2 large grocery bags packed with nonperishable food, fresh fruit and veggies, meat or eggs, and bread. Grocery bags are strategically packed with two weeks of real meals and never contain expired or junk food. See the drive-thru in action here.

Let Schools Know, “The Answer Is Yes”

This became our mantra in the aftermath of Florence and has stuck around as our ethos. If school personnel need something for food insecure kids, our answer is “yes.” We will make it happen without bureaucracy and needless forms. School social workers and family counselors are the heart and soul of our program. If we can make any part of their very difficult jobs even a little bit easier, the answer is “yes”.

Offer More Services, Without Barriers

In tandem with #2, we will offer all schools emergency food pantries, snack packs, emergency food pick up, etc. We will also encourage them to help NourishNC develop more innovative ways to feed kids. The time is ripe for fresh ideas in the fight against hunger.

Push Partnership Power

We have some amazing partners who pick up food from NourishNC and deliver right to kids in our community. You can regularly find Kids Making It, The UNCW Latino Alliance, SMART Start, Coastal Horizons, Communities In Schools,  and others packing their cars full of food and bringing it to kids in need! The UNCW Latino Alliance alone delivers 400-600 boxes of produce every week! In addition, we’ve continued our partnership with Nunnelee Pediatrics and Coastal Family medicine, where you can find our food being given to kids right inside their doctor’s office.

Serve Outside the Walls

We need to be out in the community. We will continue to pack our vans full of good food and distribute it safely at community events like this one at DREAMS or this one with El Ceurpo/Christ Church.

Prep for Hurricane Season

I know, we hate the H word too; especially coupled with the C word. However, it is our responsibility to make sure we are ready to serve our kids no matter what. We have plans in place to ensure we can serve our kids in the event of a hurricane and do so safely during this pandemic. Since what we learned during Florence, we’ve purchased a backup generator,  beefed  up our administrative abilities to operate without power/internet, purchased two pallets of MREs and water, have backup of safety supplies like masks, gloves, and sanitizer, and have continued our commitment to professional development by taking multiple disaster-preparedness trainings.

Launch Online Communication Platforms

Our program director is hard at work developing user friendly, bilingual web portals that will help NourishNC more effectively communicate with our families and school personnel. More info soon.

Thanksgiving Dinner and Holiday Break Boxes

Buying a truck load of frozen turkeys in July? Yep, we are already getting our “take and bake” Thanksgiving dinner together for our kids. Every family will get a turkey,  fresh veggies, all the fixings, and a pan to cook it in! We want to make sure that every child has a tasty dinner with their family come Thanksgiving.  Children on the Backpack  Program will also receive our “Holiday Break Box” packed with good food to keep their bellies full when school is out for the holiday.

So, that’s the rough plan for the next 5 months.  We might also have a few tricks up our sleeves.  More on that later. Want to help? There are so many ways to get involved here. Also, be on the lookout for other community groups that will no doubt step in again to get food right to kids’  doorsteps. It takes a village. We are so grateful that you are a part of ours.

NEED HELP? Click here. 

Our vision is to be anywhere and everywhere hungry kids need us

NourishNC has three strategic programs specifically designed to provide nutritious food to hungry children in our community.

Click here to learn more about our Backpack Program

Backpack Program

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.

Click here to learn more about Market On Market program

Market On Market

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.

Click here to learn more about our Food Farmacy program

Food Farmacy

The Food Farmacy Program provides non-perishable and fresh food items through partner organizations such as schools, pediatrician offices, and other nonprofits.