According to Feeding America, more than 11,000 residents in Cecil County, Md. are food insecure. Specifically, over 60 percent of the students attending North East Middle School receive free or reduced lunch. This means that outside school, especially on the weekends, many children go hungry.
North East Middle School Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO) Vice President Valarie Dodson wanted to do something to address the students' need at the middle school. So, when Dodson reached out to Food Lion's community relations department asking for help, Food Lion stepped up, not only donating four pallets of Food Lion private brand products, but volunteering to sort and pack bags of food to provide students with meals for the weekends.
On Thursday April 30, 2015, Food Lion associates in North East Maryland worked with the North East Middle School PTSO, PTSO volunteers and six local Food Lion store associates to pack 700 bags of food to help students that struggle to get healthy meals during the weekend.
Food Lion Feeds donated approximately 2,600 healthy meals to support the middle schools backpack program.
"We would not have been able to do this without your donation or the volunteers from Food Lion. Everyone was professional and worked diligently to get the bags filled and sorted before we opened the doors to the public," said North East Middle School PTSO Vice President Valarie Dodson. "It was a pleasure working with you and all of the employees at Food Lion. I will always have a smile on my face and gratitude in my heart when I see a sign for Food Lion and when I shop in your store."
The bags of food were distributed between in the school's cafeteria for more than 75 families, including 166 adults and 156 children.
This donation event works toward Food Lion's goal of donating 500 million meals by the end of 2020 through Food Lion Feeds.