The Little Bit Foundation, which usually supports students in under-served St. Louis communities through academic programming and supplying donations, has found a new way to help kids and their families while school is out amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Feeding Hope," a new program from Little Bit, was designed to help St. Louis families that are most in need during this time. While St. Louis schools are distributing breakfast and lunch for students who would typically eat at school during the day, that does not address dinner or other meals at home. And for families who cannot leave home or who do not have access to transportation to reach these schools or a food pantry, they are left without options.
"We worked with other organizations to try to figure out, how do we get food to those families?" says Rose Hanley, CEO and co-founder of The Little Bit Foundation.
Families who are most at-risk for food insecurity are identified by social workers who work at schools partnered with the foundation. Little Bit reaches out to these families to create a grocery list so that the foundation doesn't assume what food and supplies that families need. The order is then placed online through delivery and courier services like Instacart to have the groceries delivered right to the families on a biweekly basis. This not only removes the need for transportation, but also helps to keep families fed when they might be hit the hardest during this pandemic.
In addition to "Feeding Hope," The Little Bit Foundation is also dropping off care kits filled with essentials like hygiene products and school supplies to designated partner schools. The organization is also hosting Little Bit Storytime, a program where kids get to add books to their personal library while also having stories read to them by volunteers.
"It's empowering to do something that hasn't been done before," Hanley says. "To know that even though we aren't in the schools with our family, we still have the mission."
Feeding Hope has already raised about $60,000, but donations are needed to continue the programs. Those who want to help can learn more on The Little Bit Foundation's website.