The Food for Thought program began in response to the need of low income students to have enough food during “out of school” time.
Most of these students receive free and reduced meals at school. However, on weekends they still have significant food stress. This lack of food creates what experts call “Food Insecurity” and it is especially devastating for children, both physically and psychologically.
Food insecurity is harmful to all people and children and most impacted. Children with food insecurity and poor nutrition are at greater risk for childhood diseases like obesity, diabetes, and asthma. They also suffer from more mental and emotional health problems, and a failure to thrive academically. Lack of food and the stress that come with it is directly linked to childhood depression and anxiety as well as learning disabilities and poor school performance.
The Food for Thought program addresses food insecurity in children. It provides weekend meals to low-income students in Poulsbo and Suquamish schools. Each food pack contains enough food for six meals plus snacks and is delivered to the child at their school on Friday afternoons during the school year. Summer packs are also available and can be picked up by registered families at Fishline. Approximately 140-160 children receive weekly packs each school year. Foods include healthy snacks and meal items throughout the school year and in the summer.
What is the Food for Thought Program? The FFT Program is designed to help eliminate food insecurity by providing children with three easy to fix meals per day for the weekend plus snacks. It recognizes that children do better in school and socially when they are not hungry and have access to adequate nutrition
What is the maximum number of students accepted? There is no maximum. Currently we are serving 70-150 students from seven different schools — elementary schools, one high school, and one middle school.
How are referrals processed? Determined by individual schools — generally referrals go to school counselor. Referral form must be completed by noon, Wednesdays of each week.
What are the school’s responsibilities? Identify students for the program and to distribute food.
What are Fishline’s responsibilities? Provide food at no cost to the student or the district, prepare packs, and distribute packs to schools by Friday.
What students qualify for a referral? Any student a staff member feels is not receiving adequate, nutritious food during the weekend.
What are some indicators that a student might need a referral?
- Trouble focusing
- Grouchy / easily frustrated
- Asks peers for food
- Pattern of asking to borrow money for lunch
- Verbal indicators
- Other students’ comments
- Eats more than what seems reasonable when food is available
- Knowledge of poor parenting practices
- “Gut” feeling
What if I have more questions or if the family needs additional services? Contact the Client Services Manager at (360) 779-5190 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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