TPS counselors distribute more than 14,000 food bags during 2022-23 school year

TPS wants families to know the bags will be accessible over the summer break
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 6:42 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - A group of nearly 20 Toledo Public School counselors on Wednesday picked up food bags for their students for the final time this school year.

“Our students and our families need the food,” said Kimberly Hughes, a counselor at Garfield Elementary. “Food desperation in our area and amongst our students is very high.”

The counselors have distributed about 400 weekend food bags to hungry students every week for the entire school year. In total, that’s more than 14,000 food bags.

“When this was introduced to us, I jumped on it right away. I was super excited,” Leverette Elementary School Counselor Charis Murray. “It gives us an opportunity to provide for our students.”

The Islamic Food Bank of Toledo packs and funds the bags.

“The kids really need it and providing kids with a good meal sustains them, provides them a better education, better sleep, and so on and so forth,” said Hider Naserdin, a volunteer at the food bank.

Counselors say their students look forward to the extra food every week.

“The kids absolutely, like, love it. They ask me, ‘Oh, is it Wednesday? Are you going to pick up the bags? Are we getting them Friday?’” Murray said.

While the end of the school year means counselors won’t be giving their students food bags anymore, families can still access the bags through the Islamic Food Bank of Toledo by calling ahead and making an appointment to pick one up.

Students facing food insecurity this summer can also get food through Connecting Kids to Meals. The nonprofit has about 160 sites across the area, where it feeds kids free.

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