Lowes Foods donates nearly 100 pounds of food to Grow Our Kids, North Carolina Food Bank

Declan Hoffman, Editor-in-Chief

“Grow Our Kids,” a non-profit community organization that mainly focuses on organizing and distributing food to disadvantaged young students for their breaks when free or reduced breakfasts and lunches may not be available held its annual “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” event in partnership with Lowes Foods Nov. 11. Over 30 volunteers from Athens Drive Key Club and Teen Core service clubs as well as various Girl Scouts turned up at the event to help load and organize the over 95 pounds of food for distribution.

“Our mission is to fill the gap between children in need and the resources in our own communities. We feel it’s our responsibility as a community and as a society to provide support as we can to those children lacking the appropriate resources to nourish their minds,” said Craig Smith, a “Little Bellies” affiliate of Grow Our Kids.

The organization’s slogan, “Nourishing one kiddo at a time,” works among three main divisions, each with the goal of providing a different need to children who do not have the resources to attain those needs. “Little Bellies,” “Hearts” and “Minds” provide food items, basic necessities and educational materials to students appointed by educators or social workers.

“Hunger directly impacts not only a child’s health but their ability to learn and thrive in the classroom contributing to ‘achievement gaps’ which can be formed well before elementary school ends,” Smith said.

Athens Drive Key Club has partnered with the Little Bellies branch of Grow Our Kids to provide food and volunteers to organize and distribute it.

“My experience with Grow Our Kids has been very inspirational and rewarding. I have been able to see the organization grow from feeding about three or four needy families for three weeks out of the month to nearly twenty,” said Ian Glenn, Key Club President.

Through the past year of involvement with food drives and close to a dozen events, Key Club continues to grow the club’s involvement with Grow Our Kids.

“It’s important that a high school service club helps out with an organization like Grow Our Kids because it gets today’s youth into a habit of service as they enter adulthood. It also serves to teach them the important lesson that they can all make a difference in the lives of others if they try,” said Glenn.