Akron mom starts food program for kids in need

Akron mom starts food program for kids in need

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - One in five children in Ohio do not know where their next meal is coming from.

Food insecurity is a problem across Northeast Ohio. That's why one Akron mom decided she needed to do something to help make sure no child goes hungry, especially on the weekends.

Heather Anderson started the "Spartan Snack Pack" program in the Springfied School District. The program is named after the school's mascot.

Every Friday, students in the district who receive free or reduced lunches get a bag of food to take home with them.

"I picture, in my mind, these poor kids going and opening up the fridge and going, 'OK, there is only baking soda in here,'" described Anderson.

The idea for the program came from something Anderson observed in her daughter's school district in Green. Even though the Green School District is known for being more affluent, there is still a similar take-home food program for kids in need, says Anderson.

"I thought, 'Oh my gosh, if they need "Blessings in a Backpack," Springfield certainly needs it.' I know at one of the schools, they are at 75 percent just for the one school - 75 percent free and reduced lunch," said Anderson.

With the help of the Akron Food Bank and donations, Heather provides over 100 kids with food for the weekend, every weekend school is in session.

Anderson tries to put 12 food items in every plastic take-home bag. She strives to have enough for two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinner items, snacks and a drink.

"My goal is, I obviously want them to have nutrition, but I want them to have a full belly. I know how I am when I am hungry, so if it's Ramen noodles and it fills them up and they can think and they can get through the school day on Monday, I'm all for that," said Anderson.

Anderson is trying right now to create a summer program where the families she serves during the school year would pick up donated food items.

"If I can help one family struggle less or take one worry off their plate that means the world to me," said Anderson with a smile.

Anderson can always use donations to keep her weekend food program going.

Every dollar donated helps.

Visit the Spartan Snack Pack's GoFundMe page for more information or to donate.

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