Jeanne Stongle helps students every day find answers to their questions about careers. She works in career development at Mc Lain High Lakewood CO.
I spent some time there during my organic farming career teaching six week sessions on Urban AG. We brought students to farm to learn on site about sustainability and organic growing in greenhouse and field crops. Harvest Mountain Farm Gardens was about a half acre full production farm serving chefs, farmers markets, CSA share holders. I have a passion to teach financial sustainability and career possibilities in small scale intensive farming .
This go around as Executive Director of Jeffco Eats I was talking to Jeanne about how hungry are the 550 students at Mc Clane. Her job is career development and this most diverse at risk population has many challenges including being hungry. Many of the students work full time and 40 to 55 hours a week besides going to school and often eat on the run.
McClane believes in the students to be cause oriented with community service and requires volunteering to develop life skills. Eighty percent of the students are on free and reduced lunch programs. The only additional food coming into the school for the 550 students are district food boxes and Jeanne did not know exactly who provides them.
We Are Unique
As part of our unique experience, McLain/Long View High School offers a Career Development and Exploration office. That office is housed by Jeanne Stongle, our Career Development Coordinator. The Career Development Office is located on the first floor in room 118.
Our Student’s Success Is Important
At McLain/Long View High School, we have implemented a Career Development and Exploration program for our students. We want all of our students to leave High School on a path to succeed at their highest potential. We work with students on employability skills which include, but are not limited to career assessments, resume building, interview skills, job search skills, corporate expecations and other on the job skills. We offer employment help, job coaching, career assessments and internships. Researching companies and careers in class is a great activity but learning about a career by experiencing it in person is an even greater learning tool that often helps our students visualize their future. These experiences also enable our students to understand how their classroom and textbook education applies in the real world.
At any given day they can have 100 homeless children, said Jeanne Stongle. This can mean they are couch surfing. There are also students 18 to 21 years old at Mc Clane and adults who go back to school to get their diploma.
Bottom line is we are going to collaborate with Mc Lain High to provide food and some skills and they are going to help us by volunteering. Most of all we will get to know some of the students and love and encourage them while providing for some of their food insecurity needs.
We will be evaluating providing seven item food tote bags, snacks, and or produce. McLain has been on our list of schools we need to begin serving so it is a happy day that we connected and will move forward by end of August to bring some food to these wonderful students at Mc Lain High . It is located near Warren Tech and Red Rocks CC.
Food Insecurity – When someone suffers from food insecurity, it means that they experience inconsistent access to adequate food, due to a lack of money and/or other resources at times during the year. This includes the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally-adequate and safe foods, including involuntarily cutting back on meals or food portions, or not knowing the source of the next meal. People who are food insecure are also known as “at risk of hunger.” Food insecurity includes categories of “low” and “very low” food security, indicating degrees to which food intake is reduced or normal eating patterns are disrupted because of lack of money and other resources for food (1).
Hunger – Hunger is a physiological condition for an individual that may result from food insecurity. It is a potential consequence of food insecurity that, because of prolonged, involuntary lack of food, results in discomfort, illness, weakness or pain that goes beyond the usual uneasy sensation (1).
Food Desert – Geographic areas that lack reasonable access to fresh fruit, vegetables and other healthful whole foods are called food deserts. These are usually found in impoverished areas. Food deserts occur largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers’ markets and healthy food providers. A “low-access community” is where at least 500 people and/or at least 33 percent of the census tract’s population resides more than 1 mile from a supermarket or large grocery store. For rural census tracts, the distance is more than 10 miles (2).
The Jefferson County Food Policy Council has further refined this definition for its work in the County, considering household income levels, educational attainment, percent of owner occupied housing units, percent of the labor force in professional occupations, unemployment levels and the percent of households in poverty. These factors have been used by Harvard Law School to define geographic areas where food insecurity exists. The Food Policy Council has used this tool to define areas in Jefferson County experiencing food insecurity. Some of these include southeast Arvada, Wheat Ridge where it borders Arvada, east Lakewood, southwest Golden and parts of the unincorporated mountain areas.
Poverty – Poverty is a state or condition in which a person or community lacks the financial resources and essentials to enjoy a minimum standard of life and well-being. These include resources such as include shelter, food and water. Federal poverty guidelines (or poverty thresholds) are set by the U.S. government each year to determine a household’s poverty status based on household income, family size, composition and age of family members (3).
In 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that 12.3 percent of United States households were food insecure. This includes 4.9 percent who had very low food security, which is categorized by a family member going without or drastically reducing food consumption due to lack of money or other means for obtaining food (4). Overall, food insecurity in the United States remains high, as it has for the past several years, with households continuing to experience the lingering effects of the Great Recession. Current levels of food insecurity remain above pre-recession levels in 2007, when 11.1 percent of households were insecure nationally and 10.3 percent of Coloradans struggled with hunger (4,5).
Food insecurity not only impacts the availability of food in a household, but it also has significant health implications as well. A Hunger in America survey, taken in 2014, found that among households served by food banks, 58 percent had a family member with high blood pressure and 33 percent had at least one member with diabetes (6).
“In Jefferson County, 59,110, or more than 1 in 10, Jefferson County residents are food insecure.”
– Feeding America: Map the Meal Gap 2017
One of the programs addressing food insecurity in the United States is the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program (SNAP), an income-based program created by the Food Stamp Act of 1964 with the intention of improving nutrition among families with low-income by providing them with monthly benefits to purchase food (7). Another program is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which was established as a permanent program in 1974 to safeguard the health of pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women with low income, infants and children up to age 5 by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, as well as nutrition education and breastfeeding promotion and support (8). WIC also supports fathers, grandparents, adopted and foster families with children who meet the enrollment guidelines. Another program, the National School Lunch Program, provides federally-assisted, nutritionally-balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children in public and nonprofit private schools (9).
Public assistance programs, such as SNAP and WIC, have been crucial in not just alleviating the effects of poverty and food insecurity, but also improving dietary intake and health, especially among children (10). Still, food assistance programs are just one step in improving nutritional outcomes among individuals and families with lower income. Additional efforts are needed to create awareness and knowledge of healthy eating practices. One example of this kind of intervention is The Double Up Food Bucks program, which combines nutrition education with financial incentives for the purchase of fruits and vegetables for SNAP enrollees at farmers markets in low-income neighborhoods with food deserts (11).
There is a growing pool of evidence suggesting that the higher price of healthier foods contributes to poor diets among lower-income populations. In general, nutrient-dense fresh fruits and vegetables are more expensive than energy-dense foods, like processed foods, which have relatively high sugar and fat content (12). A considerable amount of research demonstrates that people living in or near poverty have disproportionately worse health outcomes and less access to health care than those who do not (10). Communities made up of largely people with low income, ethnic minorities and lower levels of education, are most likely to have their local food system dominated by cheap, processed, and nutrient deficient foods. Inner city and rural communities are more likely to as well (13).
Implications and Data for Jefferson County
Percent of the population that is food insecure, Jefferson County and Colorado (2017)
Source: Feeding American: Map the Meal Gap 2017
Source: Feeding American: Map the Meal Gap 2017
Community Health Needs Assessment Focus Group Findings
Focus groups countywide expressed concern about food insecurity, with many participants saying that certain groups in their community were most affected by it. These concerns were coupled with related concerns around nutrition and obesity. Participants expressed concerns around inadequate healthy options available through SNAP benefits and food pantries. Focus groups discussed the high cost of fresh fruits and vegetables. Participants stated concern around whether the children who receive free or reduced-price school lunches were struggling with food insecurity issues during summer break. Participants noted the connection between food insecurity and chronic conditions, like diabetes and obesity.
Percent of the low-income population that is eligible for SNAP benefits, but are not enrolled in SNAP (2014 & 2016)
Slowing down every now and then is a good habit. Summer is a time to have some specials moments of fun. Fun can mean many things to many people. The hundreds of volunteers at Jeffco Eats every week bring smiles or tears to children and families. Together we can eradicate weekend hunger for 4000 children.
We were asked by New Life Church in Lakewood which is a place focused on helping those in dire need, to bring food to a summer camp for 8 weeks. We were thrilled and honored. Gail Garcia is the Director of Zocata which happens at 1380 Ammons Street Lakewood.
By you giving a recurring donation on paypal you can insure we keep on existing as a high functioning and strategic non profit 501 c3.
We are working on a test program for Fall where we will help some families not have food trauma due to deprivation and lack for a number of months.
They need help and coaching on how to make decisions around food when they feel safe. Will you consider joining our growing group of those who give $25, $50 or even $150 a month to help and insure every week that Jeffco Eats ?
We are in week two of our summer food program for children and families. We will be providing about 4500 lbs of food or more each week to 20 locations. Summer is the time when children and families are much more food insecure. Forty two percent of a child s weekly food is gone when school closes. That is 10 meals of 21 meals a week. Breakfast and lunch are no longer coming from USDA food services at schools .
Would you consider providing $40 dollars to cover one child for ten weeks of summer food ? This will include a weekly bag of shelf stable food for child and family weighing about 7 to 9 lbs and including vegetables, pasta, breakfast items, peanut butter, healthy snacks. We then provide at sites fresh produce like watermelon, and tomatoes and spaghetti squash and potatoes and onions and sweet potatoes. We also give awesome healthy snack foods which the children and families so appreciate .
Please click now and donate, $10, $25, $40 or $100. Many backpack programs like us do not work in summer so we really need your help in supporting our work for these very needy children.
SUMMER FOOD SITES INCLUDE: Rose Stein and Wilmore Davis and Lasley Kids Smart , Splash Pool, Lakewood Head Start, Maplewood, Cedar Groves, Timber Leaf, Lamar Station, Trailer Parks, Green Gables, Ray Ross Park, Belmar Grove. We will be at the SUMMER FOOD SERVICE PROGRAM KICKOFF EVENT June 12th at Emory Elementary with a booth if you want to learn more about us. We will be providing food on two days for their mobile cafe and also help 80 children a day at a summer camp at New Life Church in Lakewood.
We work on a very tight budget and truly are so grateful for any donations. Perhaps your children could do a lemonade stand and raise money for other children so they can eat. We need volunteers every Friday so go to http://www.metrovolunteers.org to sign up. We need 35 men women and teens and children each week. This Friday we will be getting 6000 lbs of food to be offloaded from our U haul truck from Food Bank of the Rockies and then our packing teams start bringing together our substantial food bag for the child and family. Together we can greatly reduce Summer hunger.
Please come to 12725 W 42nd Ave Wheat Ridge on Fridays from 10 to 11:30 to help us pack weekend food club bags for children around Lakewood and Wheat Ridge. Children and corporate groups and clubs welcome.
We need delivery drivers to our site locations on Thursdays and Fridays. Check it out on www.metrovolunteers.org
Last summer fifty percent of our volunteers were children and teens. Together we are reducing childhood hunger.
OPPORTUNITIES TO VOLUNTEER:
Pack weekend food club bags on Fridays from 10 to 11:30 – Need 25-35 volunteers
Deliver orders to our program sites on Thursday 10 to 12:30 or Fridays from 11:30 to 1:00
Pick up food at Food Bank of Rockies with our rental U HAUL moving truck. Very heavy load and can have team of two. You do not have to lift at FBR just help us unload at our site. Volunteers at Food Bank Rockies place our order in the truck with forklifts. Need insurance and valid driver license.
Help set up pop up farmer market style table with produce at apartment complex – for more info email email@example.com
This is the second year where we have held our breath wondering, “Oh my gosh what are the children going to do now”. Well last summer we at least helped 450 children have weekend food at about 12 school sites. We are doing more strategic planning in collaboration with others to really move the dial of hunger down this Summer. When school vacation starts so does 42 % of a child’s food possibly go away. We have collaborated with several groups to so far have 20 sites where we will be bringing weekend food for the children.
We will be providing weekend food program totes with seven or 8 items and produce and snack food items to apartment complexes, parks and school sites in Lakewood and Wheat Ridge.
We believe in the fact that synergy is created together and that we can truly greatly reduce summer hunger by diligent and strong advocacy work. We have spent the last three weeks connecting with those who might have children present that we could bring hope to with food for the child and family. We are program providers with Food Bank of the Rockies . We provide weekend food bags and produce and snacks.
Summer 2018 /Locations for Jeffco Eats Weekend Food Program
Lasley Elementary – Kids Smart and Lasley students 1401 S Kendall St, Lakewood, CO
Americana Apartments – Teresa Brewer, Mgr. – 12598 W Dakota Ave, Lakewood, CO 80228
Jeffco Eats along with many other amazing organizations believes in helping the whole child and that includes leadership in community conversations and training around TRAUMA AND FOOD DEPRIVATION.
Teachers and Social Workers report to us the manifestation of severe hunger by seeing hoarding, deep sorrow, silence and not asking for help, asking for food randomly in the middle of classroom time.
Teachers in most schools have a handful of teachers who buy snacks for the children with their own money. Students who are hungry know who these teachers are.
My friend grew up in an affluent neighborhood and had a mentally challenged Mom and they would have milk and no cereal or cereal and no milk. They would go ask the neighbors for a cup of milk . In some neighborhoods in Jefferson County there is milk maybe down the street at someones house you do not know. Maybe you live in a home with two other families to survive. Point being we must take action to stop the shattering of children’s souls from having lunch and breakfast for 39 weeks and then for 11 weeks in the summer they lose 42% of their meals and who knows and who cares ?
We believe through collaboration and partnering we can reduce greatly childhood hunger and that is the reason for this blog post.
Childhood trauma leads to food deprivation later in life- the triangle
Jocelyn described instances of having little to no food availability as a child. “We barely had food. I don’t even know if food stamps existed,” Jocelyn said. She also described in the interview being so hungry as a child that she would eat the paint chips off her wall, which eventually gave her lead poisoning. After being fired from the only job she ever had, Jocelyn was forced to move back into her neglectful mother’s house where her younger siblings still lived. Now, Jocelyn struggles to feed her own child, in addition to her siblings, and admits to skipping meals or stretching budgets to ensure her family has enough to eat.
The research brief defined household food insecurity as a “lack of access to enough food for an active and healthy life due to economic hardship.” There are two types of food insecurity: ;ow food security, which indicates issues with access to food and poor diets in households; and very low food security, which shows that at least one household member has reduced their food intake, and that eating patterns within the household have been disrupted due to inadequate food or money resources. Using the U.S. Household Food Security Survey Module, the researchers were able to identify caregivers of children younger than the age of 4 who could be classified as being either household or child low or very low food secure.
No KID HUNGRY is a great resource site for learning more about psychological and emotional long term effects of hunger. Here is quote from article talking about how much it costs us in USA for destroying their souls.
Child Hunger is a Workforce
and Job Readiness Problem
• Workers who experienced hunger
as children are not as well prepared
physically, mentally, emotionally or socially
to perform effectively in the contemporary
• Workers who experienced hunger as
children create a workforce pool that
is less competitive, with lower levels
of educational and technical skills, and
seriously constrained human capital.
Child Food Insecurity: The Economic Impact on our Nation
A report on research on the impact of food insecurity and hunger on
child health, growth and development commissioned by Feeding America
and The ConAgra Foods Foundation
John Cook, PhD, Project Director
Karen Jeng, AB, Research and Policy Fellow
School will be out for the year on May 18. We will deliver the last food for our schools on May 17. We could not do it without our 50 volunteers or more a week. We have 8 drivers and over 35 packers including school students packing the food. We will start up again for summer food deliveries first week of June . Will advise if we start June 1 or June 8.
Our summer packing site has graciously been loaned to us by Head Start Jefferson County. We will be operating out of the Wheat Ridge facility at 12725 W 42nd Avenue Wheat Ridge.
WHAT IS THE SUMMER FOOD SERVICE PROGRAM (SFSP)?
The Summer Food Service Program began in 1968. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is good,
nutritious food that’s “in” when school is “out”. Its purpose is to ensure that children in low-income areas
could continue to receive nutritious meals during long school vacations, when they do not have access to
school lunch or breakfast.
HOW DOES THE SFSP WORK?
The Summer Food Service Program is administered at the Federal level by the United States Department of
Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Services. The Colorado Department of Education’s Nutrition Unit
approves sponsor applications, conducts training of sponsors, monitors SFSP operations, and processes
WHO CAN SPONSOR A SFSP?
Sponsors must be organizations that are fully capable of managing a food service program. To be a sponsor,
you must follow regulations and be responsible, financially and administratively, for running your program.
Which types of organizations are eligible to sponsor SFSP?
Public or private nonprofit schools
Units of local, municipal, county, tribal, or state government
Private nonprofit organizations
Public or private nonprofit camps
Public or private universities or colleges
Community and faith based organizations
Sponsors of sites, which are not camps, must serve either;
1. A site in an area in which at least 50% of the children, who live in that defined area are eligible for
free or reduced-price meals in the National School Lunch or School Breakfast programs.
2. A site which enrolls children, at least 50% of whom meet the SFSP’s Income Eligibility Standards.
At non-camp sites, reimbursement may be claimed for all meals served that meet SFSP guidelines. Sponsors
offering the SFSP at camp sites may claim reimbursement only for the program meals served to enrolled
children who meet the SFSP’s Income Eligibility Standards.
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?
All children 18 years of age and under who come to an approved open site or to an eligible enrolled site may
At camps, only the children eligible for free and reduced-price meals are reimbursed.
Individuals over 18 who are enrolled in school programs for persons with disabilities may also receive meals.
WHAT IS A SITE?
A site is the physical location, approved by the state agency, where you serve SFSP during a supervised time
period. The five types of sites are:
YOUR SITE IS: IF: BASED ON:
OPEN At least 50% of children in the area are eligible
for free and reduced price school meals
Area eligibility data from the local
school or census block group
ENROLLED At least 50% of the children enrolled in the
program are eligible for free and reduced price
Income eligibility statements
describing the family’s size and
CAMP It offers a regularly scheduled food service as
part of a residential or day camp program
An individual child’s eligibility for
free and reduced price meals
MIGRANT It primarily serves children of migrant workers Appropriate certification from a
NYSP It is a college or university participating in the
National Youth Sports Program
A child’s enrollment in NYSP
MEAL SERVICE REQUIREMENTS
Sponsors purchase or prepare meals and serve them to the children at the site(s). Sponsors may claim
reimbursement only for meal types they are approved to serve. Non-camp sites can serve either 1 or 2 meals
each day. Sites which are camps, or which primarily serve children of migrant families, may serve up to 3
meals per day (any combination of breakfast, lunch, supper, or snack).
HOW ARE SPONSORS REIMBURSED FOR THE MEALS SERVED?
Forms documenting how many meals were served for the month must be submitted to the State agency. The
sponsor will be reimbursed at meals times rate of reimbursement.
HOW DO ORGANIZATIONS APPLY TO BE A SUMMER FOOD
SERVICE PROGRAM SPONSOR?
If you think you may meet the qualifications;
Complete a PROSPECTIVE SFSP SPONSOR INFORMATION FORM
Contact Connie Harlow, Senior Consultant, CDE Nutrition Unit, @ (303) 866-6650
In accordance with federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from
discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.
To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence
Ave. S.W., Washington D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800)795-3272 (voice) or (202)720-6382 (TTY). USDA is
an equal opportunity provider and employer.
No more teachers. No more books. No more free lunch.
A record 21.7 million American kids get free or reduced-price lunch during at school. But when summer vacation starts, the vast majority of them go without this essential, federally funded benefit.
Fewer than 4 million kids — or just 18% of those in the school lunch program — are fed through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s summer food program. While that’s a record number for the 40-year-old initiative, many advocates and government officials say more needs to be done.
“In the summer, when those school meals disappear, children find themselves hungry and with few options,” said Duke Storen, a senior director at Share Our Strength, which aims to end child hunger. “It impacts their health and well-being and contributes to learning loss.”
More than 200 kids ate lunch at the Central Falls summer meals kick off.
The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) ensures that low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. This summer, USDA plans to serve more than 200 million free meals to children 18 years and under at approved SFSP sites.
Help us ensure that no child goes hungry this summer.
During the school year, 22 million children receive free or reduced-priced mealsthrough the National School Lunch Program. When school is out during the summer months, however, only 3.9 million receive free or reduced-price meals through the USDA Summer Food Service Program. This gap of 1 in 6 summer to school-time participants is the result of various barriers experienced only during the summer, including a lack of access to meal sites, insufficient program awareness, and limited resources when schools are closed.
Summer Feeding Program & Local Food Banks
The Feeding America nationwide network of food banks operates several summer food service programs during the summer that seek to close this gap. These programs help meet the needs of low-income children and their families who face hunger in the summer by providing them with nutritious meals and snacks when school is not in session.
Feeding America network summer interventions include summer meal programs like Kids Cafe®, BackPack programs and School Pantry programs. Food banks often employ other innovative meal distribution models, such as Picnic in the Park programs, which are designed to most effectively utilize the resources available to fill the gap in services for children during the summer months.
When school is out of session, community summer food programs make up the majority of food distributed. These programs typically receive reimbursement through the USDA Summer Food Service Program for meals provided to eligible children. Last year, the Feeding America network served 5.7 million meals to more than 178,000 hungry children through the Summer Food Service Program, which represents a 15% growth in meals distributed from the previous summer.