Local Organization Kicks Off 4th Year Providing Weekend Meals for Students and Families

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The Volunteer Center, South Bay-Harbor-Long Beach is kicking off its fourth year of Food For Kids, a weekend meal program feeding Title One students and their families in Long Beach and Compton area schools. With the new school year starting this month, the program will begin to feed 115 families each weekend, an increase from 85 families this past year. That being said, the Volunteer Center is looking for food donations and companies or organizations to host food drives for non-perishable food items on the behalf of the Volunteer Center. Please contact Alexandra Weiss the program coordinator at (310) 212-5009 for more information on the program, list of food items requested, and how to sign up to host a food drive.

About Food For Kids

How can any child concentrate on education when they are hungry? Poverty causes many of these Title One students to arrive at school Monday morning without adequate nourishment. Simply put, these children are hungry and in some cases have not eaten since Friday’s school lunch. These circumstances create special needs and have dramatic effects on educational progress and self-esteem. Title One schools supply breakfast and lunch on school days… but who provides for them during the weekends?

Food For Kids is a Volunteer Center program that delivers non-perishable food to Title One elementary school children in the Compton and Long Beach Unified School Districts. The food is to be consumed over the weekend by these disadvantaged families. Every Friday, Volunteer Center volunteers assemble and deliver shopping bags to the schools/students. Each bag is filled with ten (10) items of non-perishable food, for example: pasta, tuna, oatmeal, soup, applesauce, rice, beans, canned beef, peas and cereals. This provides food for the family for the weekend.

Food donations are provided by both individuals and corporate sectors of the community. The Volunteer Center’s Team 100 is an all men’s auxiliary group in Long Beach that raises funds for the Food Ford Kids program. The goal is to expand the Food For Kids program to help many more families by increasing our support of in-kind food donations as well as other contributions.

About the Volunteer Center , South Bay- Harbor-Long Beach

The Volunteer Center, South Bay-Harbor-Long Beach was founded in 1963 by the Junior League of Long Beach in response to the needs of the community. For 50 years, the Volunteer Center has referred almost a million volunteers to thousands of nonprofit agencies who maintain critical programs for those in need. The Volunteer Center’s six locations act as the clearinghouses for programs that continue to make a real difference in our community and promote personal involvement as a part of the solution. The Volunteer Center’s notable programs include volunteer recruitment, court referral community service, Operation Teddy Bear, Food For Kids, Volunteer Center Youth Coalition, V.I.V.A. (Volunteer Involvement Values Action), Corporate Volunteer Council, Art To Go, Adopt-a-Family and Nonprofit Training Seminars.

The first year the Volunteer Center was formed, 34 volunteers were placed in 26 nonprofit agencies. Last year the Center served 39,265 people. The first year the Junior League paid for all operating costs, currently the Center operates on an annual budget of $1,806,000. The value of the services that the Volunteer Center provided last year is estimated to be $54,155,000. The Volunteer Center has become a one step solution for individuals, nonprofit organizations, schools and businesses to enhance their community impact through service. For more information on the Volunteer Center and its programs, call (562) 590-8844 x23 or visit www.volcenter.org.

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