Feed the Creek helps solve weekend hunger in Beavercreek schools

Feed the Creek is a weekend food program that provides food bags for children in the Beavercreek School District who might otherwise go hungry over the weekend.

Sharon Fulcher, Vice President and Executive Director of Feed the Creek, said that in 2010 she had attended a conference where she heard about similar weekend food programs. She said her first thought was how lucky they were in Beavercreek that they didn’t have this problem. However, the possibility that she might be wrong nagged at her and she decided to look into it.

“I was talking to one of the school secretaries about whether or not they had a weekend food program and she began to cry. She said they had wanted to start a program like this but didn’t know how to get it started,” said Fulcher.

Fulcher said that after doing further research she found out that at that time approximately 36 percent of the students in the Beavercreek school district are receiving either discounted or free lunch through the schools and many of those children have little or no food to eat on the weekends.

According to Kettering Health Network, even mild under-nutrition during critical growth periods can effect children’s behavior, school performance and cognitive development.

Today the Feed the Creek is in its 6th school year thanks numerous sponsors and community volunteers including 18 churches and about 44 businesses and organizations as well as numerous individual volunteers.

In spite this small army of sponsors and volunteers, Fulcher said that they do still need help and seek donations. “We don’t receive any government funding. I wanted this to be a community effort.”

Coordinating the volunteer efforts as well as with the schools is Cynthy Turner. Turner said that they serve in excess of 300 students per week who would otherwise go hungry on the weekend. She said that in general the school provides them with a list of names of children that they know have a need but they try to help all who come to them.

She recalled an instance where she was dropping off a bag because she got the word that they were one short. When she had finished with the delivery, a woman asked her if she was with Feed the Creek and she said she was. She said that she expected that the woman was probably going to ask her about volunteering or making a donation but instead she thanked her. She said that Feed the Creek was a blessing to her family. She said that her granddaughter had come to live with her and shortly after that her hours at work were cut to almost half.

“I was blown away. She didn’t seem to me like someone who would have needed help. She has a house. She has a car. She has a job. But all of the sudden her life changed and now she has a child to support and had no outside support from the government. It’s like one our counselors said, sometimes life just isn’t kind to people,” said Turner.

Turner said, anyone wanting to volunteer with Feed the Creek can be added to their e-mail list at FTCOH@outlook.com. A list of food items that are needed as well as drop off locations can be found on their website at http://ftc.ftcoh.org/info/. They can also be found on Facebook at Feed the Creek.