On Thursday, the Kroger in Oak Hill announced a special program to feed at-risk children in Fayette County.
Leaders with the Kroger in Oak Hill are making it their mission to solve child hunger, one meal at a time. The store is donating $10,000 to the United Way of Southern West Virginia, the Fayette County Health Department and three faith based community organizations. From there, these organizations will distribute food to students in need. Administrator for the Fayette County Health Department, Teri Harlen, said 21.6% of students in Fayette County do not know where their next meal is coming from.
“We have a lot of kids, who literally do not have food in their homes,” Harlen said.
The program will provide students with weekend meal bags during planned and unplanned school closures and funding community meals while school is closed.
Warm Hands for Warm Hearts is one of the faith-based community organizations involved in the program. They have served more than 6,000 children since its found in 2013, and this new program will help them extend that to 30 more. Founder of Warm hands for Warm Hearts, Mike Bone, told 59 News, this is something personal for him.
“I believe there is a difference between passion and paycheck and my passion to feed children is because I was one of those,” Bone said.
This is just the beginning of the program, and they hope to extend it to all counties in Southern West Virginia. This is also part of Kroger’s “Zero Hunger Zero Waste” initiative. Their goal is to end hunger in the communities they serve by 2025.