Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida celebrates community partnerships as Club members and other youth in Duval County Public Schools receive weekly snack packs thanks to Feeding Northeast Florida and their Snack Pack Program. The program is made possible in part through the generosity of a donation from J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver, through The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.
“When Duval County Schools closed due to COVID-19, our Snack Pack Program, supplying at-risk children with weekend food support, came to a halt. Our agency partner, Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida, stepped up to help. We are profoundly grateful for their partnership in helping get this food to the kids who need it and to the Weaver’s generous support in making this program possible”, said Susan King, CEO of Feeding Northeast Florida.
Multiple community organizations worked together to ensure all the snacks end up the hands of Duval County youth. Through Feeding Northeast Florida’s Snack Pack Program, supplies and pallets of snacks are delivered to Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida, where Club staff and volunteers assemble the snacks into packs that are delivered to 12 school-based Clubs and 4 additional school locations. The snack packs are then distributed by Duval County Public Schools staff during their lunch pick-up time.
“One of the most beautiful things that has arisen out of these challenging times is how community organizations have stepped up to meet the needs of children and families, and this partnership highlights that,” said Lawanda Polydore, principal of Saint Clair Evans Academy. “On behalf of the Saint Clair Evans school community, I just want to thank the Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Florida, the J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver Foundation, the Community Foundation and Feeding Northeast Florida in joining us to make sure our children don’t go hungry.”
The distribution of snack packs are just another way Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida and other organizations are working together to help children and families feel connected during out-of-school and out-of-Club time. Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida also provides weekly wellness checks, a Power Hour homework helpline, and virtual Club time for Clubs members to help them maintain their sense of belonging.
“It’s essential that all our city’s youth feel secure and loved during this out-of-Club time. By providing our Club members with delicious snacks every week, they know we care about them and that we haven’t forgotten about them,” explained Paul Martinez, Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida’s President and CEO. “We are grateful to our community partners for making this resource a reality.”