Back in 2012 Minda learned that kids who are on the Federal Free Lunch program are often hungry throughout the weekend. Minda wanted to put bags of food together so that they kids had food to eat over the weekend and would come back to school on Monday ready to learn so she reached out to Backman Elementary and asked if there was a need and indeed the need was there. She started putting together 50 bags of food for kids to take home. After realizing the need was great, Minda wanted to help a second school and also increase the amount of bags per school so she solicited help from local businesses and received enough funds to go from 50 kids to 250 kids. Many of the kids who receive the food are refugees, homeless or living with relatives. In addition to the weekly bags, together with community, For The Kids have put together thousands of Thanksgiving meals and Holiday break food bags.
Minda knew to continue sending out 250 bags each week and hopefully serve more kids that she would need to apply for grants so she moved out of the closet she started in and found a small storage space and from there she founded For The Kids, an accredited 501C3. After receiving the accreditation and securing grants For The Kids increased their weekly delivery to 350. The FTK family has grown to hundreds of volunteers and supporters.
At an event a school teacher told this story: “At school a child was acting up and this is a child who was well behaved. When I took him aside and tried to find out what was wrong he said…. My little sitter ate an extra bowl of cereal this morning and that means we are short a breakfast this week and I am already hungry.” The teacher was heartbroken. Unfortunately these situations among the children we serve are frequent and For The Kids believes in being hunger advocates for those in most need and to help cover basic needs so that these kids have one less thing to worry about.
Never doubt what 1 bowl of cereal means to a child, 1 box of mac and cheese, a Thanksgiving side dish and even a granola bar. You can make a difference! What makes For The Kids special is we understand that it takes a village and we have been able to continue our efforts because companies, churches, neighborhoods and individuals believe in what we are doing and become a part of the positive change we want to see in our communities. Would you like to join us? Each week 2,450 items of food leave our shelves, For The Kid’s is always look for food or monetary donations as well as volunteers, come join us and be a hunger advocate!
As a child I experienced hardship and I knew at an early age that I wanted to help others who were going through the same thing. I had a positive role model in my life and I learned that hope can be a powerful thing, and that if one person could show me hope through their actions and by caring about me that I wanted to do the same if I ever had the chance. I started out by simply wanting to feed as many kids as I could and what has happened is that I found so many more people just like me that wanted to help and together we not only feed hundreds of kids but we are also giving these kids hope. “Get started, Make it happen” (Author unknown) it really can be that simple and I would love for you to join us!
Growing up in rural Louisiana I witnessed the financial challenges many families endured and how that impacted the lives of children. By having a father who was our school district’s Superintendent for many years I learned the importance of education as a way to promote a better future for all of those who take full advantage. Kids who are well nourished are more likely to reach their educational potential, which can additionally foster increased self-confidence and a positive life style. All of us who are in more fortunate circumstances have a responsibility to make our communities and great country even better and “For the Kids” aims to do just that.
I have been in the HR world for years, helping employees through hard times so when Minda reached out to me to join the For The Kids Board it was an easy yes for me! A few years prior I had created a youth softball team to help young kids stay active and learn a sport in a positive environment and it was an easy transition to add sports to FTK and help kids not only through providing nourishment but also through a sport. FTK now sponsors the Rose Park Panthers and I get to help in new ways to make a difference in the lives of kids who need the help!
Peter Moes and his family became involved with For the Kids at the beginning of 2019 and he joined the board in May of 2020. Peter’s involvement with For the Kids has evolved from a monthly volunteer opportunity he could do with his family to a love for the organization and a deep connection to the mission. Through his involvement with For the Kids, and as his own daughter reached school age, Peter has gained a better understanding of the challenges many children and families in our community face and a passion to help address those challenges.