JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. - Leaders in Jackson County are gathering Friday for the inaugural "Food For Thought" fundraiser. Food for thought raises money to supply schools with extra funds to provide needing students with food for the weekends.
"Food is an important learning tool. It's just as important as an iPad or tablet," says Representative Tommy Hanes. When some students go to school, their lunch for that day may be the only meal they get. "Children were going home hungry on Friday afternoon and not getting another meal until Monday morning when they returned to school and that's what brought this about."
A few schools in the Jackson County area have programs supplying children with extra food on the weekends, but programs like that come at a cost. "When donations were not enough to fill those bags to send home," says Keisha Gardner.
"They would go and buy it out of their pockets and we want to be able to give them the funds to be able to do that." Food for Thought is collecting money to distribute to these programs. All they ask is that you bring them your lunch money or whatever you can.
"It cost 150 dollars per child per year approximately so we're encouraging corporate donations and business and anyone who would like to sponsor a child, it's just 150 dollars a year and it goes a lot way," says Gardner.
As a foster parent, Keisha Gardner says seeing first hand what hunger does to children is devastating.
"When they come into my home sometimes they take their food and they hide it and I have to convince them. It's okay you don't have to hide your food. We have plenty of food for you to eat."
So donating to the 900 kids that utilize these types of programs will go a long way.
Food for Thought will be held at the Walmart on John T. Reid Parkway. They'll be collecting donations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Their goal is to collect $10,000.