Organization raising funds for needy students in Hoover schools

August 18, 2016 Michael Panik

by SHEREA HARRIS
August 5, 2016

A special food program for students in the Hoover City School system is in need of funds.

The program was created last year when it was determined there are lots of students in Hoover who are not getting enough to eat at home.

“There is hunger in Hoover,” said Melinda Bonner with the Child Nutrition Program for Hoover City Schools.

She says some students only get a good meal in the school cafeteria.

“There’s breakfast and lunch during school and when they go home there may not be food for them to have,” said Bonner.

And on the weekends there’s an extended period of time when a child doesn’t get enough to eat.

“That breaks my heart,” said Greg Bishop.

The sad situation is why Greg Bishop and his family created a non-profit called Hoover Helps.

Here’s how it works: Schools identify needy children at elementary schools. Hoover Helps has sponsors like churches and businesses that buy food and pack it up. Then, teachers pass the food along to the kids to take home each weekend.

“When the kids are at recess they’ll discreetly put the bags of food in the backpacks,” said Bishop. ”The majority of it are things they can prepare on their own. Ravioli, spaghetti and meatballs, breakfast bars. The majority of the support is coming from our community.”

“The degree to which our community is rallying around this initiative has been overwhelming and inspirational. The churches and organizations involved do all the heavy lifting. We’re just playing facilitator role,” Bishop continued.

Bishop says it costs about $180 per child to provide weekend food for the entire school year.

Hoover Helps is trying to raise $20,000 to fill a funding gap for the 350 kids who are enrolled.

“I haven’t sat down with a group that has said ‘no’ to helping out the children,” said Bishop. So, I’m convinced a lot of the $20,000 will come in the form of other organizations coming on board.”

Hoover Helps would love for your help to raise that $20,000 dollars so kids who are less fortunate don’t go hungry over the weekend.