Students at East Salem and George Washington Carver Elementary School recently received 200 bags of food, courtesy of the Spartan Square Kroger. Each bag included ten items: snack sticks with cheese, Horizon Milk, classic applesauce, fruit snacks, cereal, mac & cheese, spaghetti, pasta sauce, juice and variety oatmeal. Because they have the most needs for food assistance, those two schools were chosen.
The Spartan Square Kroger has a committee called “The Promise Team” and Whitney Harris is its lead.
“Whenever a child can’t get access to quality food, it is important to remember that it is not their fault,” she said. “There are so many kids throughout Salem who do not have access to food on the weekend. We wanted to do something to help make the lives of parents a little easier.”
For Salem families, like millions of others across the country, the classroom moved to the living room this year because of COVID-19. Research shows that when children have access to quality food, they are more likely to excel in their academics. Harris believes that no child should have to go to bed hungry, and says gestures like donating food to those in need capture the best of what Salem is all about.
“We teamed up with our vendors, and did a hotdog sale to raise money. We also had a lot of participation from our employees, both in terms of financial contributions and time,” Harris said. “We delivered the meal bags to the school staff. They could not believe that we had so much food. You could just see the emotions on their faces. They know their children and exactly what they need.”
She added, “Our committee tries to regularly do stuff for the store and the community-at-large. None of this would have been possible without our employees, vendors and members of the community.”
Each bag given out was the equivalent of about $35.