Orange County Nonprofit Works to Ensure No Child is Hungry
ORANGE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Some elementary school kids in Orange County don't need to worry about where their next meal is coming from, thanks to the help of an area nonprofit.
Shining Hands is working to combat child hunger while inspiring students to get involved with the community.
Shining Hands, which was created five years ago, says 14 percent of children in Orange County live in poverty and the group has been working ever since to change that.
Every Wednesday night, Carol Lee and her team work to make sure no child in Orange County goes hungry.
“It’s not just about the food for me,” Lee, the founder of the nonprofit, said. “I want each one of these kids who get these bags to know that it is packed with love."
Lee started Shining Hands in an effort to send elementary and primary school students in Orange County home with food for the weekends.
“After doing some research, we found out that Orange County had a lot of kids that were going hungry on the weekends - there was no backpack program," Lee said.
Each bag is filled with enough vegetables and nonperishable items to last each student the entire weekend.
“There are kids that need it, and we're helping fill that need,” Beverly Knight, a volunteer, said.
Since 2014, the Unionville-based nonprofit, which is entirely funded by donations and run by volunteers, has packed over 72,000 meals.
“Provide a service that is missing in this community, there are a lot more kids that could use the service but we need more funding and stuff to do that,” Knight said.
On average, Shining Hands feeds about 80 students each week.
With the school year coming to an end, Lee is now asking for something other than a food donation.
“We're collecting copies of “The Giving Tree,” and hopefully we're going to get enough to send each child home this summer with a copy of “The Giving Tree” and we're going to put a special note in there for them,” Lee said.
Lee says she hopes to see the program expand more to get rid of food insecurity in Orange County.
“These are kids that are going to grow up, they're going to remember this one day, and they're going to share this love back with the community,” Lee said.
If you're interested in donating or volunteering with Shining Hands, click here.