The project known as Food for Thought has been on the drawing boards for months "and now we're ready to kick off the distribution of snacks to a much wider area where there is tremendous need," said Sheila Biddix, president of Oteen V.A. Federal Credit Union and of the Western Chapter of the North Carolina Credit Union League.
Working with the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation, which awarded an initial $10,000 to get the project started under its Micro Community Grant program, the 13 CUs have agreed to pay for daily distribution of fruit and granola snacks this fall to nearly 40,000 school children in dozens of western North Carolina schools.
The CUs have also committed to a $6,000 yearly fee to continue the program in the future being run by Eblen Charities of Asheville.
In its weekly newsletter, Eblen, an agency serving adults and families suffering disabilities and illness, lauded the CUs for this "dramatic reach forward, expanding into four additional counties this fall." The counties include: Henderson, Haywood, Transylvania, and Madison counties joining Asheville and Buncombe counties.
"Operating under the premise that children cannot learn if they are hungry, this partnership ensures our school children will not have to face the day hungry," said Biddix.