One local church was able to donate $2,500 to the Nye County School District and Food for Thought program this week to help provide disadvantaged children with some of the basic necessities that many often take for granted.
Fidelis Christian Church presented the school district and Food for Thought with checks for $1,250 each Tuesday morning that were collected from the second annual Rock-4-A-Cause benefit concert held at the beginning of this month and other donations the church was able to collect in the interim.
The funds will go to help Food for Thought provide backpacks full of food for hungry children when they leave school for the weekends and holiday breaks and to help the school district’s Homeless Children and At-Risk Children in Need Fund to provide things like clothing, toiletries, shoes and other items kids in the program may need to do well in school while dealing with tough living situations at home.
The school district’s fund, alongside the McKinney-Vento Act, a grant that allows the district to remove educational barriers by providing things like school supplies, transportation and breakfast and lunch for homeless and at risk children, additionally allows NCSD to provide other items kids may need physically and emotionally to do well in school.
While most of the children in the NCSD program are not homeless in the sense that they live on the streets, many are living in transitional or non-permanent living situations.
In monetary terms, Linda Fitzgibbons, NCSD Homeless Liaison, said this donation could provide around 100 pairs of pants for those students in the program, but added, however, that the money will go toward more than just clothing.
The NCSD fund uses money from donations like this one to pay for a variety of different things students may need to complete their school experience, like paying for their senior yearbooks, prom tickets, helping them go on a class trip or even be able to play on their school’s sports team.
“With our high school kids it makes a big difference for them, especially our high school seniors. I have a senior who wouldn’t be getting invitations to send out (for graduation), just things we take for granted. Yearbooks, things we still look back on that are a rite of passage. If they’re going to be graduating and their homeless that’s somethings that’s going to come up,” Fitzgibbons said.
Shannon Moore, founder of Food for Thought, said this donation can provide meals for 250 children for a weekend or 4,000 breakfasts for students in her program.
Moore added that she and her volunteers are always grateful for donations like this one to help the children in the program. She said Food for Thought is also always looking for more volunteers, both to coordinate pick-ups and drop-offs of the backpacks for children and to help pack backpacks before they go home with the children over weekends and breaks.
Food for Thought is currently looking for a volunteer coordinator for Hafen Elementary School.
Those interested in donating to Food for Thought or volunteering can contact Moore at 775-910-1552.
For more information on the Homeless and Children in Transition program at NCSD or how to help call Fitzgibbons at 775-727-1875.