Lake City’s Hunger Intervention Program has expanded its much-needed service that provides food on weekends to low-income students that rely on in-school free and reduced meals.
The program has expanded from serving low-income students at John Rogers Elementary to include students at Olympic Hills Elementary and Viewlands Elementary in Greenwood. The two schools added to the program have some of the highest rates of students in the district on the in-school free and reduced meal program.
The group hosts monthly packing parties at its headquarters at Lake City Presbyterian Church, where volunteers assemble meals for students. The “Healthy Hip Packs” are then discreetly given to students that need the nutrition on weekends when they are not getting meals from the schools.
The group’s efforts were profiled in the Seattle P-I on Wednesday.
From the P-I story:
When people think of low-income areas, they typically don’t think of this part of Seattle, said Murphy, program manager for HIP, during a packing party at the group’s headquarters at the Lake City Presbyterian Church. But Northeast Seattle, particularly Lake City, is home to many struggling and low-income families.
“This program is such an important resource for children when school meals are not available,” said Murphy.
The most recent data from Seattle Public Schools lists Olympic Hills Elementary’s free and reduced-cost students at 73 percent of the school’s population, Viewlands in Greenwood at 60 percent and John Rogers at 35 percent…
…The food in the packs emphasizes whole grains, milk, high-quality proteins, fresh fruits and products with no added sugars. Under current funding, the program hopes to provide weekend meals to up to 20 students at each of the newly added schools. Their goal is to increase that to 40 students per school for the 2013-2014 school year.
You can read more in the P-I story here, which includes photos of one of the group’s packing parties.
Update: KIRO/7 also featured the HIP Program in their Thursday newscast. You can see that story by clicking here.