"There's an educational gap already in many public schools, so when there are disadvantaged youth going to school hungry, how can they even attempt to develop academically? It just perpetuates the problem. The cycle continues and children are left behind. I'm not going to let that continue." - Shanay Thompson, Founder
Every Kid Fed is a 501(c)(3) organization that focuses on ending childhood hunger, by opening on-site food pantries in high poverty California schools.
Each food pantry location contains a wide assortment of food ranging from healthy grab and go items to hearty meals that are available during the school year and holidays. Pantries are also vegan and vegetarian friendly. For summer breaks our founder, Shanay taught herself to code and created a summer meals app called Kid Chef, that allows students in need to order a free summer meal box with an assortment of food items distributed every month, that promote healthy eating and cooking.
A note from our founder:
I started Every Kid Fed with one goal in mind and that is to end childhood hunger - especially in schools. I’ve been a mentor to at-risk high school students at Berkeley High for over five years - starting as a college student at UC Berkeley. I've noticed that many of the behavioral, academic and health issues students experience, stem from hunger and poor nutrition. There are children who use the free/reduced breakfast and lunch program, but portions may not be enough to sustain throughout the day, and many children struggle to eat after school, on weekends, and school breaks.
Despite its wealth, California has the nation’s highest rate of poverty.
1 in 4 children in California are suffering from food insecurity due to the high cost of living - especially the Bay Area, and many parents are now put in a position where they have to choose between paying rent or putting food on the table. I personally know parents who go without eating so their children can eat, or they cut portions at home, leaving children asking cafeteria managers for seconds and thirds during lunch time at school.
After learning all of this, I felt compelled to take action and be part of the solution.
Starting a nonprofit is not easy - I definitely had to do my homework! I started off using my own funds to get the food pantries going, while pitching to businesses. Eventually, the donations came pouring in! From friends and family, local businesses to tech companies and private donors, I am grateful for the overwhelming support. The trajectory is to continue opening more pantries in high poverty schools with the help of the community. I hope you will join me in ending child hunger in schools!
Shanay Thompson, MPH
Founder and Executive Director