Getting Power Packs to hungry students during online learning

Although Fairfax County Public Schools are online this fall, Food for Others is still providing Power Packs to students facing hunger.

When schools moved online in March, many parents of students at Fairfax County Elementary Schools were left wondering how to feed their kids without FCPS school-provided lunches. Fairfax County operates daily Grab & Go meal sites and distributes seven-day meal kits but with kids at home all day, parents need a lot more food than usual to keep their children well-fed and focused on school.

According to the Capital Area Food Bank’s 2020 Hunger Report, the number of children in the Greater Washington metro area facing food insecurity could increase from 132,000 to 211,000 within the year. In Fairfax County, there were already more than 23,000 children not getting enough to eat before the COVID-19 pandemic. That number has increased significantly since March.

Children tend to suffer the most severe impacts of hunger. Food insecure children are five times more likely to be obese and they are at high risk of developing chronic diseases like asthma and anemia. Children who do not get enough to eat are unable to perform well in school— food insecurity is directly linked to lower test scores.  It is also associated with anxiety, bullying, hyperactivity, and aggression.

To help supplement the amount of food parents can give to their kids while they are online learning, FFO is working with 20 schools to get Power Packs to kids in need. Each pack contains 6 meals as well as 2 snacks and 2 drinks. All the items in the packs are easy to prepare. FFO’s volunteer drivers deliver Power Packs to FCPS personnel and each school has its own method of delivering the food to students in need. Last week, we provided Power Packs to 1,354 students.

If you would like to support the Power Pack Program, you can host a P3 food drive and packing event and deliver the Power Packs to our warehouse. For more information, read our Power Pack Program Food Drive Kit.

To view resources that FCPS offers for students in need of food, click here.