Making a difference in the lives of children, one meal at a time
“Live beyond yourself. This (volunteering with Provision Packs) is telling a child they matter and are worth the basic needs that other kids may take for granted.”
Back in 2015,Carrie Torres founded Provision Packs, a 501(c)(3),in response to a need she saw while volunteering in the elementary school her children attended in the city of Ormond Beach.In 2020 it was expanded to meet the needs in Flagler County schools. “When I was volunteering,I learned that in Volusia County alone onein threechildren are facing hunger. I couldn’t stop thinking about children who may have little or no food outside of what is provided at school,” Torres said. “I was raised by a single mother myself and I remember lean times. I also remember how hard it was for her to ask for help, and so at Provision Packs all we require is a permission slip signed by a parent or legal guardian turned into the school and children can take packs home.” Since 2015 Provision Packs volunteers have packed 245,497 shelf-stable meals for enrolled kids to take home each weekend.
Preserving privacy and respect for participating families prevents Provision Packs from collecting data required to apply for most grants. Instead, Torres has turned to the generosity of local patrons, leaders and businesses for funding and support.
Currently, Torres and her team of volunteers serve elementary school-aged children, but expansion is always on her mind. It’s tricky because of the stigma kids feel as they grow older when picking up food, so Provision Packs is working on a way to make food available as the kids move up in grades.“I know that the need doesn’t go away in their homes. We are working with local colleges too, where the problem of hunger persists for these students,” Torres said. Partnerships with Produce Project and U.S. Hunger enable Provision Packs to elevate the nutritional value of each meal while controlling costs. Each bag provided to a child costs$7.00 and contains 10 shelf-safe meals.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Each year, until prevented by the pandemic, volunteers have come together to create unique fundraisers like the upcoming Provision Packs Golf Tournament at Halifax Plantation Golf Club on November 20th; theBackpack Bash with both a live and silent auction; the River Scramble golf tournament on the water featuring biodegradable golf balls each containing fish food; and Feed the Kids Fun Fest, a family day of activities each spring. These events are made possible by community support. Companies and individuals can sign up to sponsor or contribute teams to staff or participate in these events, pack meals, write thank-you notes, etc. Direct monetary contributions are also welcome.
To find out more, go to Donations – Provision Packs