Most kids look forward to three-day weekends and school vacations. But for those who don't have enough to eat, those breaks from school can bring them to tears, knowing they will go hungry until school is back in session. Many of the students who rely on school meals throughout the week don't have enough food at home each weekend. That's where At the Core comes in.
At the Core started in 2011 to help fill nutritional gaps for kids by providing them with weekend meals, called Bite2Go kits. Over 50% of Spokane's school kids live below the federal poverty line and depend on school meals. Each Friday, students receive their Bite2Go kits, which are discreetly tucked into their backpacks to maintain their privacy.
The Bite2Go program has grown 300% in three years, and it now serves 3,100 children. At the Core has nearly reached their goal of helping every elementary school in Spokane County, which means they are now focusing their attention on local middle and high schools. They recently launched their new program for older kids, Bite2Go XL. Three pilot schools —Lewis & Clark, Mt. Spokane, and Mead— have partnered with local businesses and churches to feed students over the weekends. The program is student led and student run.
A few weeks ago, Becky and Betti joined our friends from At the Core for one of their massive Big Build events. Twice a year, At the Core gathers 400 volunteers to assemble weekend food kits for local school kids. In one day, the volunteers build 12,000 kits. That sounds like a lot of food, but this is only enough to last one month! Thankfully, Second Harvest hosts sorting events each month that help At the Core. Anyone can volunteer at these events, even older kids. The All Lines team volunteered together in 2016, and we had a great time assembling over 900 kits ourselves. If you would like to help, please visit LifeAtTheCore.org or 2-Harvest.org/Volunteer.