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Expanded Program Aims to Help Alleviate Hunger in our Community

Rush-Henrietta believes that nobody should go hungry. The Kicking Hunger initiative was founded several years ago by Rush-Henrietta employees and community members to help provide food for families in our community during the summer months. To help support that initiative, the Kicking Hunger 5K began two years ago, and has raised more than $8,000 so far. 

The Kicking Hunger committee now includes representatives from Rush-Henrietta Central School District, the town of Henrietta, Rush-Henrietta Rotary Club, Rush-Henrietta Area Food Terminal (RHAFT), Rush-Henrietta Athletic Association (RHAA), and the community. 

The Kicking Hunger initiative continues to grow. Last summer, the district offered the summer feeding program, providing breakfast and lunch to residents age 18 or younger at no cost to them. 

Starting this February, a new BackPack Program is being piloted in our K-6 schools to allow students in need to bring home a bag of non-perishable food items before longer breaks from school. The bag will contain snacks and foods that the children can prepare themselves, such as granola bars, cereal, and fruit cups. The Kicking Hunger committee is partnering with FoodLink on this important initiative. The bags will be delivered to the schools, who will send them to homes who volunteer to participate at no cost to participants.

Longer-term goals for Kicking Hunger include establishing a food pantry that would be open a couple of times a month for families to select non-perishable food staples and personal care items. The food cupboard will be housed within the district and act as a supplement to the emergency food supplies offered through RHAFT. 

“We are so thankful for the community’s support of our efforts,” says Nerlande Anselme, assistant superintendent of Student and Family Services. “It is wonderful to see so many people coming together to help our families.”

The Kicking Hunger 5K will be held on Saturday, June 6. For more information or to register, visit www.rhnet.org/kickinghunger5k.