Back to School with Bite2Go – September 8
Bite2Go is a weekend food program for students facing chronic food shortages at home. Bite2Go gives children access to a mix of nutritious, nonperishable and ready-to-eat meals and snacks for the weekend, helping kids return to school ready to learn on Mondays.
At the heart of the program is the adoptive organization. Bite2Go relies on businesses, churches and civic groups to “adopt” a school, and through that engagement and funding model, provide students with food for the weekends through the school year.
Bite2Go has a grassroots origin story; a pair of Spokane families, the Sloans and the Stevensons, started packing weekend food supplies for food-insecure kids at schools in their neighborhood. From that kitchen table start, Bite2Go has grown into a program that currently serves 10,000 kids.
The program has also grown beyond Spokane’s neighborhoods. Through a network of dedicated volunteer drivers, we now transport critical food support to the diverse corners of the Inland Northwest, from the dense evergreen forests of North Idaho to the farmlands of the Columbia Basin.
The common denominator in these dissimilar locales is child hunger; it knows no boundaries and is present in every community in Second Harvest’s 51,000-square-mile service area. Nationwide, over 9 million children don’t get enough to eat. In Second Harvest’s service area, that works out to 1 in 7 kids who don’t receive the nutrition they need to prosper and grow.
Because Bite2Go believes that no child should go hungry, we work with communities to identify the pockets of need in their student populations. We seek out adoptive organizations and other partners who are willing to advocate on behalf of those kids and fund nourishing weekend food supplies.
As our adoptive organization model has taken hold, we have accumulated an eclectic blend of businesses, churches and civic groups. We enjoy support from small businesses and multi-nationals and churches from across the denominational spectrum. What unites this diverse portfolio is the common goal of eliminating child hunger.
We also work through a number of partner nonprofits. In Chelan, Sandpoint, and Coeur d’Alene, to name a few, nonprofits fundraise locally and work with their local schools to identify need and nourish kids. Bite2Go stands by these partners to source, prepare and deliver sustenance, and to coach these communities on how to sustain their program once they get it up and running.
Kids who don’t get enough to eat enter life at a serious disadvantage. They may face long-term health consequences such as anemia, obesity, and diabetes. They’re more likely to repeat a grade. They may face other developmental impairments related to language and motor skills. It is an honor to work with partners across two states who have decided to act on behalf of the most vulnerable of our neighbors — our children.
If you would like to learn more about how to bring the Bite2Go program to your community or school, please visit: Bite2Go.org; or you may email the program’s head, Steve Durham, at: Steve.Durham@2-harvest.org.