Pandemic Response Champion Feed the Kids (Cecil)
Feed the Kids is an incredible community started as a Facebook group by three Cecil County residents recognizing the hardship faced by families who relied on school lunches, but lacked the transportation to reach the meal distribution sites. The program was selected for the Governor’s Service Award in the Pandemic Response Champion category.
The three founding members rallied the community and connected with the school system, and overnight launched the “Feed the Kids Spring 2020” initiative. The nominator stated, “In a time of uncertainty, one thing was certain- when the community needs to pull together, they do so without hesitation and with a generous spirit.” Over 100 volunteers signed up within the first weeks to coordinate routes and volunteer schedules. A true collaborative effort was formed between the Cecil County Public Schools, the Cecil County Public School Food and Nutrition Department, educators, local organizations and community members.
Each week, 320 children are served by 15-20 volunteers, and they still continue. Feed the Kids is a true testament to both the great need and hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic, and also the strength and resilience of our communities rising up.
“During a time of self-isolation due to COVID-19, Feed the Kids created not only a way to serve children in need–they created community. Feed the Kids offered residents a simple way to give back during a time of crisis and disconnection. And they did it without ego, without applause. One of the volunteers, who also works at a county middle school, summed up their mission: ‘These are my kids. I just wanted to continue to serve them.’”
Jessica Berstler, one of the volunteers behind Feed the Kids, shows others in a recent meeting the Governor’s Citation the group was awarded, (Cecil Whig).