It’s official. It has reached the point of summer when parents are starting to count down the days until their children return to school. The children on the other hand, probably not so much. That is unless school is the one place where they are guaranteed both breakfast and lunch through their school’s meal assistance program.
When Vince, Lisa and Taylor Scarpinato of Phoenix, Arizona, heard that thousands of children received breakfast and lunch at school but were going hungry on weekends, they felt compelled to do something. In 2007, they founded Kitchen on the Street (KOS) to bring food and hope to children in need.
Turning hunger into hope… one child at a time.
One in eight Arizona children struggles with food insecurities. The act of giving food transcends the physical and reaches into the child’s soul. Suffering from food insecurity as a child can lead to other struggles throughout the child’s life, such as obesity and a weakened immune system. Kitchen on the Street has set out to help these children and improve their quality of life.
Recognizing the need of children who receive breakfast and lunch at school, KOS partnered with local schools to provide Bags of Hope. These bags are distributed at school on Friday afternoons, so children receive food and nutrition outside of school. Each bag is nutritious, requires no refrigeration and is easily transported home to provide consistent nourishment to a child in need. The bags are something that children can look forward to and know that they are cared for by the community.
A SIGN OF HOPE
Recognizing the joy on children’s faces was enough confirmation for the volunteers of KOS to know that they were really making an impact. However, as a data-driven company, we know it doesn’t hurt to have some data to further prove that fact! Recent test scores within a KOS Partner school improved 12% in reading and 26% in math after administering this program to the food-insecure children within their community! Think about it. Can you do your best work when you are hungry? We know we can’t, and our education system can’t expect it from children.
Our Purpose is to inspire the success, fulfillment and wellbeing of each person we serve. Here at MJ, we deeply admire Kitchen on the Street, and its volunteers are enacting our Purpose with the work they do for children in our community. We are honored to feature KOS as our Charity of the Month for their work to ensure each child feels cared for through overcoming food insecurity and hunger.
TURN HOPE INTO ACTION
There are many ways to get involved with Kitchen on the Street!
So, as excited as parents everywhere may be to get their kids back to school, we encourage everyone to take the time to think through the great impact school meal assistance programs and organizations like Kitchen on the Street have on children in our communities. We encourage you to channel that excitement to giving back and ensuring no child in our community goes home hungry on the weekends. Learn more about Kitchen on the Street here.