Community partnership serves up food and fun for kids at DI’s Seven Farms Apts.
Summer is traditionally a worry-free break for school-age children. However, some families struggle with hunger, as well as finding fun activities during the long hot summer months. Even in the idyllic setting of Daniel Island, there are children who depend on subsidized school breakfasts and lunches during the academic year who can be faced with hunger pangs when class is not in session.
Fortunately, low-income families in the Daniel Island community can lean on programs that serve up free healthy lunches and summer fun. The Lowcountry Food Bank (LCFB) and the Humanities Foundation are working together with 305 Seven Farms Apartments to provide both to some Daniel Island children in need.
The LCFB partners with public schools during the school year to provide meals to children and their families. However, additional food resources are needed during the summer.
“The Lowcountry Food Bank strategically conducts Summer Meal distributions in communities where children and their families need greater access to nutritious food,” said Pat Walker, LCFB president and CEO. “We are thrilled that Seven Farms Apartments…can fill this food gap on Daniel Island and help ensure that children who struggle with hunger in Berkeley County have healthy food choices.”
Lamar Mowatt, director of resident services at the Humanities Foundation, has been running a summer camp for children living at Seven Farms Apartments for six years. He is excited about the collaboration with LCFB.
“I truly believe incredible things happen when like-minded people come together on a common goal,” said Mowatt. “This is exactly what our partnership has produced. Together we are fighting the hunger needs that exist right here in our backyards. The most positive outcome working with the Lowcountry Food Bank has been being able to offer supplemental food assistance for families across the greater Charleston area.”
Christina Auth, community engagement coordinator at LCFB, said this the first summer the Lowcountry Food Bank has been on Daniel Island. Mowatt reached out to Auth when he was looking for a way to provide meals for his summer camp program. Auth was eager to help and stressed the importance of the summer meals program.
“Summer can be the hungriest time of year for many children…hunger and lack of nutrition can lead to a variety of health issues. It can impact their health, academic performance and overall well-being,” explained Auth.
This is the first year Seven Farms Apartment Property Manager Dottie Harris has experienced the summer program.
“The program has been amazing. The kids come in excited every day,” she said.
Ninth grader Taylor volunteered at the camp because he felt it was a positive way to spend his summer.
“The highlights have been going on field trips and getting to be hands on with all the activities,” he said.
Summer camper Josiah says the best part of the program is “the tacos and seeing his friends.”
The LCFB is participating in the 2019 Summer Food Service Program, an initiative administered by the USDA. According to a press release, the majority of summer meals are prepared in the LCFB’s Zucker Family Production Kitchen. The program ensures children will receive nutritious breakfast, lunch and fresh produce throughout the summer, totaling more than 54,000 meals including 3,000 pounds of fresh produce. The sites are chosen based on their accessibility and capacity to serve the children who need the meals most. To find the nearest Summer Meal from your location text “Food” or “comida” to 877-877.