Thursday, June 7, 2018

Food for the Summer Kicks Off at Northside Elementary

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for the late afternoon kick off of Food for the Summer at Northside Elementary on Tuesday, June 5. Across the expansive lawn behind the school, a brightly colored Bounce House claimed the center of attention, along with art tables, corn hole stations, a farmers’ market - and a mouthwatering cookout spread from Chartwells, Inc. Families from the Northside community and beyond arrived early and stayed till “closing time” as the children played games, and adults visited with friends and new acquaintances.
Summer nutrition programs existed in this community before the creation of Food for the Summer, but it took the inspiration, and then countless hours dedicated to that vision, by Mayor Pam Hemminger before the rollout of the organization in the summer of 2016.
The Food for the Summer website ( notes that in 2018, 27.9% or 3,432 children in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools are food insecure. Yet that stark statistic is not widely known among many local residents. For the third year, the program comprises a collaboration among CHCCS departments, the Chapel Hill Mayor’s office, Varsity Church, a number of community non-profits like Porch and the Inter-faith Council, as well as No Kid Hungry NC and UNC Food for All.
During the first summer of Food for the Summer, a smaller partnership of organizations served lunches at four sites in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. This year, volunteers will provide lunches at 16 sites for any child from infant to 18 years old. A new feature that will be phased in at some sites is Lunchtime Camp, an opportunity for volunteers to extend their time with children to interact with them in a variety of enrichment activities. Food and activities will be packed in easy-to-carry bins and volunteers will pick them up at central distribution zones.
For some of our community’s children, the USDA-approved lunches will be the most substantial or healthy meals they receive during weekdays. The bonus ingredients of conversation and creative engagement should also provide a social-emotional boost for the children who participate. Roslyn Moffitt, CHCCS Director of Title I and Family and Community Engagement, said, “Once again, different aspects of the community came together to support our families. This speaks to the uniqueness of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area.”
The need for volunteers is still high! The program begins on Monday, June 11 at all 16 sites. Employees of CHCCS and the Town of Chapel Hill do not need additional background checks; all other volunteers can link to a five minute process that will provide the clearance necessary to participate. High school students can earn service-learning hours, and many sites are on the town’s free bus service.
Carolyn Brandt is the director of Food for the Summer, and she welcomes your questions at Please visit the website or go straight to the sign-up link!

2018 Organizations of the Partnership

Book Harvest
Town of Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill Mayor’s Office
Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools
Chartwells, Inc.
Family Success Alliance
Inter-Faith Council for Social Service
No Kid Hungry NC
Refugee Support Center
UNC Chapel Hill Food for All
Varsity Church
YMCA of the Triangle