March 24, 2022

Employees Celebrate No Child Hungry Program With Meal Distribution

Press Release
IN THE PRESS

To celebrate the two year mark of No Child Hungry, a program that was created by EquipmentShare employees and local teachers to feed children after schools transitioned to online learning in March 2020, the company is partnering with five local schools to distribute 500 pantry booster bags to those in need in advance of the district wide spring break session. 

Event Celebrates Two Year Anniversary of No Child Hungry Program

COLUMBIA, Mo. — To celebrate the two year mark of No Child Hungry, a program that was created by EquipmentShare employees and local teachers to feed children after schools transitioned to online learning in March 2020, the company is partnering with five local schools to distribute 500 pantry booster bags to those in need in advance of the district wide spring break session. 

When the pandemic caused in-person schools to close, EquipmentShare team members Craig Hindelang and Matt Bade recognized many children rely on free and reduced lunches while in school and wanted to ensure these children still had access to nutritious foods. 

“When we created this program, it was meant to provide local kids with meals for a week, during their spring break,” EquipmentShare Chef and No Child Hungry Program Founder Craig Hindelang said. “But when there was no sign of school returning back to normal at that time, we made a decision to keep filling the need.”

In just the last year, EquipmentShare has served approximately 3,500 meals and provided hundreds of snack bags to students and their families. The pantry booster bags that will be handed out on March 25 will include healthy, non-perishable items, snacks, as well as hygiene items. They will be given to children confidentially identified by CPS staff as students in the free and reduced lunch program. The five Columbia Public schools involved in this effort include: Battle, Douglass, New Haven, Oakland and Two Mile Prairie (EquipmentShare’s Partner in Education). Each school will receive 100 pantry booster bags. 

EquipmentShare’s employee-led Giving Back Committee also elected to provide $3,000 worth of supplies to each of the five schools for the 2022-2023 school year to help supplement some of the costs often covered by the teachers themselves. 

employees and educators prepare for the food pickup line
EquipmentShare employees and educators prepare for families for the drive-through food pickup.

“So many teachers reach into their own pockets to fill the needs of their students, whether that’s school supplies, snacks, deodorant or clothing items,” said Danielle Schlacks, a member of the executive team. “This year, we asked the same local teachers how we can help them make a difference in the lives of their students. They are the real heroes. They are the ones taking attendance every morning and nurturing their students all day. They know which kids might need a little more to eat when they get home so they load their backpacks to make sure they aren’t hungry. Our part is so small and we are happy to help those teachers who already do so much.”

"EquipmentShare has been a blessing to our school community for two years.  What began as an effort to feed children and families on a short term basis during the onset of COVID has blossomed into a two-year partnership,” said Christy Perkey, a teacher at New Haven Elementary. “It has been a pleasure to work with team members like Craig to help our families prepare for a week of kids at home.”

The school supplies will be delivered in August, in time for the new school year.

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