The intention of the School Food Access Toolkit is to share best practices learned from successful schools throughout the country. Whether it be the addition of a share table or a school food market, there are several innovative strategies to ensure students have increased opportunities to access healthy food, also known as food security.
Food security for children has always been a priority of schools. As Covid-19 continues to cause closures, unemployment and poverty to rise, food security has become more challenging for families across the country. According to Feeding America’s brief “The Impact of Coronavirus on Child Food Security”, the nationwide numbers of children experiencing food insecurity has increased from 11 million children in 2018 to approximately 18 million today. The high demand for food assistance is expected to remain at elevated levels for the foreseeable future. Schools, being the hub of the community are a vital part of the solution. We have the power to alleviate stigma, increase food access and awareness by continuing to expand the work we do to provide children with wholesome meals.
As you read through the toolkit, please know it is not a coincidence it has landed in your hands. While nothing worthwhile is ever “easy”, rest assured you will find others who share your mission and passion to help lighten the load on this important journey. Students face so many challenges in education today. However, when they have their basic needs met, they come to class happier, healthier and equipped to learn, grow and blossom. Together we can do our part to create a community where no one goes hungry!