Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry receives $8K grant to help kids with hunger

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) – Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry says an $8,000 grant will help it feed 85 children in the Woodbrook neighborhood.

“Our program does two meals for two days for one child, but we try and to make sure that what we’re giving them is not only something that they can easily but also healthy,” Jane Colony Mills, the executive director of Loaves & Fishes said.

The Woodbrook Program sends students home with food for the weekend, but only one per household.

“I’d like to see if we can do more than that, if we can provide the food for each child who needs it in the household, because we can’t, we can’t send home what a whole family needs in a kindergarteners’ backpack,” Colony Mills said.

No Kids Hungry in Virginia Director Sarah Steely says Loaves & Fishes customizes the food for the kids to make sure it fits their diet.

“They thought a lot about making sure their resources and their space is culturally inclusive and culturally conscious so that anybody who interacts with them feels welcomed and feels like it’s a familiar space,” Steely said.

The grant money will help the program go further.

“This grant, however, is going to allow us to really make it into a proper program where we can buy food that we’re not getting through donations, where we can focus more efforts on nutrition education, and, specifically in multiple languages, we know that the Woodbrook population has a lot of non-English speakers and we want to adapt some of them materials to reach those families and let them know that in addition to this food for the kids at the weekend, we can feed the whole family,” Colony Mills said.

One-in-ten kids in Virginia face food insecurity, according to Feeding America.

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