United We Serve: Let’s Read. Let’s Move. is excited to be working with Family-to-Family in the effort to increase access to healthy and affordable food and promote literacy this summer. Family-to-Family’s mission is to alleviate some of the most visible symptoms of poverty, such as hunger, by connecting families with other families in some of our country's most impoverished areas.
Each “sending family” either sends a box of food necessities each month to a “receiving family” that has been assigned to them, or donates to Family-to-Family monthly so groceries can be purchased for their receiving family.
The Victory Gardens Program
The Victory Gardens Program, one of Family-to-Family’s programs, is the next step after emergency food support and provides a toolkit to families in need. The kits contain gardening supplies, seeds and other important tools, and the families who receive a kit mentor another family, teaching them the skills they have learned.
“The people participating in the Victory Gardens program have always had to rely on a food bank. These people don’t really want a hand out, but they have to eat. They've got low paying minimum wage jobs if they've got a job at all. By growing and canning their own food, they are now relying on themselves without having to worry each day where their next meal will come from and if it will be enough.” - Lois Tackett, founder of Manna From Heaven, a non-profit food pantry and donation center, Family-to-Family’s partner in Myra, Kentucky.
Family Story Power Project
Family-to-Family is also working with LitLife, a national organization dedicated to literacy education, to “feed hungry minds.” The Family Story Power Project gives children and their families the opportunity to come together to craft and read stories in a safe and supportive environment. After reading, families create stories together. The kids even have the chance to “publish” their work -- at the end of the program, the families leave with a book composed of their stories and pictures in addition to other books to read together at home.
The Family Story Power Project has had an enormous impact on the communities it serves. The Project has strengthened bonds between family members, given children and their families the tools to read and write at home and as a result, families are engaging with texts at home and after school in ways they never did before. And most importantly, the families became inspired to see themselves as readers, writers, and storytellers.
Find out more about Family-to-Family, and how you can get involved: http://www.family-to-family.org/