Food reservoir doing great work to feed local kids over the weekend

Highlands County is full of wonderful programs that provide crucial goods and services to people truly in need. It’s refreshing to find out what so many good people are doing to help others. Their work should inspire the rest of us to do our part.

The Heartland Food Reservoir is filling a need that many of us never thought much about, but the good they’re doing is some of the best around.

The Food Reservoir packs food for area children who live in challenging circumstances for the weekends. They know that without this assistance, many of these kids eat poorly when not given access to the school district’s free and reduced food programs that keep their bellies full.

Study after study shows that continuous hunger has deep and lasting effects on children. It’s difficult to concentrate on school work or anything else if hunger pains gnaw at you constantly. We have many children in our area who face this frequently.

For most of us, we cannot imagine our children or grandchildren facing such a life. It seems as if the idea of a hungry child in America just can’t happen - but it does. Just ask people who work with or around children from “food insecure” homes. It’s a real problem and has been for a long time.

The Heartland Food Reservoir spends about $4 per weekend for each child they help. Right now the group focuses on the schools with most children using free and reduced lunches and breakfasts. That means next year, with the prices of food at its current level, more than $41,000 will be needed in donations to make it happen for the year.

That money pays for juice, shelf-stable milk, granola bars and other goodies that provide nutrition for growing bodies. Donations come from local folks and businesses who understand just how important this is. Thank goodness for their willingness to step up.

This is a fantastic cause and we hope people help them make it happen by donating or volunteering time. It’s a small price to pay to make sure any children are not suffering through the weekend, waiting for school to get good nutrition. No child deserves that kind of life.