MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Mountaineer Food Bank gave around 700 elementary school students free and fresh produce.
Eastwood Elementary students came into the gym, one classroom at a time, and received carrots, squash and apples, among other things. The event is part of Mountaineer Food Bank’s Fresh Initiative Food Market.
The food bank’s director of community programs Laura Phillips said each child walked away with roughly 15 pounds of food meaning there was thousands of pounds given away.
“It’s exciting, it’s a learning experience and also they get to shop for their families so they feel like they’re contributing to their household and that’s something I really like to see,” Phillips said. “There’s an excitement around fresh foods right, so we’re making fresh foods exiting. Whereas birthday parties of cupcakes and all these different things that aren’t so healthy, we’re making excitement in building this program around healthy options.”
Phillips said they rely on grant funding to make it all possible and that in this case it was through money received from DTE Energy. Currently the food bank serves 48 counties, she said, and that they plan on having 48 events with students at different schools.
The program she said has been running for two and half years. Next, they will stay in Monongalia County Phillips and go to Mason Dixon Elementary School.
“We use it as a teaching opportunity, definitely but also Eastwood reached out to us,” Phillips said. “We had this program last year and the had somebody that was really passionate at the school that reached out and made the connection.”