Local Organizations Help to Keep Students Fed During the Weekends
By: James Master, Assistant Editor, Pilot News
Marshall County – A 2019 article published by Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, titled “Food Insecurity and Child Health” concluded that policies that were used to reduce food insecurity in households could also reduce a child’s chronic and acute health issues and health care needs.
“The primary focus is children because we think that that is going to help them develop better. Nutrition, as a child, is important for brain development, is important for behavior down the line,” said Chris Germann, associate director of Planning and Marketing for Cultivate Food Rescue.
Cultivate Food Rescue, MoonTree Studios and the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ (PHJC) and Plymouth Community School Corporation (PCSC) have partnered together to help keep school children fed during the weekends.
Rachel Hansen, assistant coordinator at MoonTree Studios, explained that the partnership began when MoonTree’s program coordinator, Elizabeth Symon, returned from South Carolina.
“She had seen Cultivate there when she was still in South Carolina. And she’s like “I want to work with that company.” And so, when she got up here, about two years ago, that was her passion and so she got us all started with it,” said Hansen. “It’s been just wonderful.”
On average, Cultivate delivers 75 to 80 boxes of meals a month to MoonTree Studios. Each weekly delivery helps feed about 50 students. The Culver Boys and Girls Club also receives biweekly meals that will keep 10 children fed. Each bag contains two breakfast meals and four lunch meals.
Cultivate delivers meals to MoonTree, storing them in the studio’s available freezer space. MoonTree sorts them by school. PCSC then comes and picks up the meals, takes them back, and distributes them out to students in need of weekend meals.
PCSC high school students arrive to help load the meals into the school vehicles and then travel to each school to help unload.
Meals are delivered to students right before they go home for the weekend.
PCSC isn’t the only school and organization in Marshall County to receive meals from Cultivate. Bremen Public Schools started working with Cultivate in January. Bread of Life, Plymouth Hospital, Marshall County Council on Aging, Marshall County Neighborhood Center, Plymouth Baptist Church also receive meals to distribute to those in need, both children and families.
In 2020, Cultivate has distributed 13,302 meals to the above mentioned organizations. That equates to 69,220 pounds of food. For more information about Cultivate Food Rescue, go to https://cultivatefoodrescue.com or to their Facebook Page by searching @cultivatefoodrescue.
*Story originally appeared in The Pilot News