Nonprofit Spotlight: Food For Thought making a difference, one meal at a time
Plumas Bank sponsors this content
Mind blowing to most Americans is the truth that 12.5 million children live with food insecurity in the United States. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, these children may not have consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.
Food insecurity has lasting effects on our society as a whole. Especially hard hit are children under the age of two. During this critical developmental stage, lack of proper nutrition can lead to learning disabilities. School age children may experience a variety of behavioral problems such as hyperactivity, aggression, anxiety, mood swings, and bullying.
Food For Thought, Inc. (FFT) is a local non-profit organization combating food insecurity with one simple focus: Prevent area children from going hungry.
Located in Carson City, Food For Thought programs serve food insecure children in 16 local elementary, middle, and high schools. Food For Thought works autonomously from other programs to meet the needs of area children that generally rely on actions from parents or caregivers.
The program is unique and revolutionary in its approach in reaching those who are helpless to access food programs themselves. Currently, the organization does NOT receive funding from the State of Nevada, Carson City nor the school district.
Programs are discreet and effective!
Keystone to Food For Thought is its Backpack Program which provides each participating child with enough food for the weekend. Hundreds of meals are distributed every week throughout the school year.
During the 2018/2019 year, Food For Thought served over 300 children weekly and distributed some 12,014 bags of food that contained 60,000 nutritious meals for weekend consumption.
The food is healthy and includes fresh fruit when possible. During Summer 2019, the lunch program served over 2,801 free lunches to area children in need.
Additional programs include the Infant and Toddler Program, and the CHOP Grab and Go Meal Program. In efforts to keep young mothers in school, Food For Thought provides formula supplements to mother’s currently enrolled.
In 2018, the organization developed a Grab and Go Meal initiative to fill the need of high school children participating in the Carson High Options Program (CHOP).
CHOP, is a progressive discipline setting in which troubled youth attend school Tuesday through Friday, from 2:30 pm until 4:30 pm. Since school meals are largely unavailable during this time, Food for Thought provides nutritional sack lunches to 20 participants.
New coat drive this year
This year, Food For Thought is pleased to launch its 1st Annual Coat Drive and has partnered with the Carson City Nugget. Now thru November 15th, the organization will be accepting donations of new coats for children ages 5 to 18.
All coats can be dropped off in Carson City during regular business hours at: 3246 N. Carson St., Suite 118. The coats will be distributed to Food For Thought participants during a special “Kids Christmas Brunch.” In late December, an estimated 240 area children will attend this private celebration which will be closed to the general public.
Not only do the various programs target the most critically dependent in our society, but they are also effective and prudent with funding. Re-investing back into the local economy, almost all of the organization’s budget is spent at area stores to provide the meals for participants.
And, to ensure the greatest percentage of dollars are spent directly on the children, Food For Thought relies heavily on its amazing volunteers and area sponsors.
Food For Thought, is proud of their past accomplishments and optimistic about the future; but, needs your help. Continued operations are made possible through the generous donations, volunteerism and fundraising opportunities of private citizens and business partnerships.
Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today, and help local children focus on being good students and not worry about their next meal.
“I point out many cases of where privately owned companies do just as bad a job as publicly owned companies,” says Reno resident and former teacher Robert (R.D.) Gardner.