For many kids in our schools snow days mean sleeping in, building snowmen, sledding with friends and drinking hot chocolate. However, for children who rely on school meals day-to-day, snow days create worry for how they will get their next meal. When school is out it may mean one more breakfast and one more lunch that families now have to find a way to provide for their children.
This is where TABLE steps in. Since school started back after the holidays, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School System has had to close its doors for five days due to snow. To fill the need for food assistance during these snow days, TABLE had to quickly prepare in anticipation of the school closures by either doing early deliveries to schools or by delivering door-to-door when school was still out.
The first snow storm forced schools to close on a Thursday and Friday, the most critical days of the week for us to reach kids but we managed to deliver 401 bags directly to children by going door-to-door to children’s homes. On Friday at about 11am, volunteers and staff quickly reorganized the bags of food by neighborhood (instead of school), added fresh produce into the bags, and ventured out into the snow to deliver healthy goodies to TABLE kids for the weekend.
We learned that the second storm was coming on a Monday with large accumulations of snow beginning Wednesday morning. Staff realized that school could be out for the rest of the week, meaning our kids would be without their usual supply of breakfasts and lunches from school for five days instead of just two. We had a couple of volunteer groups that saved the week. One local sorority, Mu Omicron Omega, volunteered Monday afternoon and packaged over 300 non-perishable bags! On Tuesday, we changed the times and responsibilities of our volunteer shifts and posted a call for volunteers to help us bag and deliver to schools. Our volunteers (and amazing staff!) responded immediately to help us package the remainder of the 574 bags, purchase additional produce from Harris Teeter, add produce to the non-perishables, and deliver to our usual sites so kids had food from Wednesday to Sunday.
This is all thanks to our amazing volunteers who were quick to respond to our calls for help! Many offered their time for emergency bagging and last minute deliveries and we couldn’t be more happy knowing there were less empty bellies these past few weeks!
Check out this news clip from WNCN that featured TABLE and our efforts to deliver in snowy weather!