SMART BELLIES BEGINNINGS
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It's pretty simple. We heard there might be some students in Summit County in need of meals over the weekend, so now we fill bags with food each week and send them home. We work with local teachers and administrators to identify students who might need the extra help - although our program is completely self-selective. There's no need for families to prove they need the food... if they sign up, we're committed to providing a bag full of nutritious options.
We try to focus on nutritious, kid-friendly meals - we all need nutrients to perform at our best, and kids are no different. According to the US Department of Agriculture, more than 1 in 6 children don’t have consistent access to nutritious food. We're not okay with that.
Our bags are filled with breakfast, lunch and snack items. The idea is that these are items students can get at school during the week; we want them to have the same fuel to get them through the weekend.
WE ALL NEED NUTRIENTS
Margaret grew up in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. Like Sarah, her background is in Nonprofit Management with an MPA from American University. Margaret has been lucky to work on many different causes, but her food/hunger roots go back to volunteering at her mom's local food cupboard since she was a kid. Hunger was something she grew up talking about and working to stop. She's excited to watch Smart Bellies do a little of that in Summit County. She loves to sing, play outside, and watch baseball (mostly the Nats).
Sarah resides from Menasha, Wisconsin. She has a masters in Nonprofit Management, Educational Leadership, and International Development from Portland State University and is a die hard Packer fan. She is passionate about Smart Bellies because she has seen the benefits of a backpack food program for children and in a community first hand when she was the program manager for similar nonprofit in Florida. When Sarah is not packing backpacks, she loves to be outside hiking, camping, snowboarding and spending time with her family, friends, and sweet pup Rvca.