Free community event benefits Montgomery County Food Bank in time for the holiday increase in need
One in four children in Montgomery County is food insecure. This means they aren’t 100% sure where their next meal will come from or how it will be provided. Montgomery County Food Bank is growing their partnership with Montgomery ISD by supporting our district’s students in need and the district’s Student Nutrition Advisory Council (SNAC) wanted to do something to give back.
With the support of the Child Nutrition Department and local sponsors, SNAC hosted the district’s first Walkathon for Hunger. With over 300 people in the community in attendance and contributions from school groups including the Art Club, HOSA, the Junior Belles dance team and the Montgomery HS cheerleaders, the event was most definitely a success.
“Our students had this idea and were dreaming big, wanting to give back in a way that would make a real difference,” Child Nutrition Director Lena Neugebauer said. “So many of our child nutrition staff got behind the idea and thanks to our sponsors and volunteers, we were really able to do something meaningful.”
Participants were asked to bring non-perishable food items to donate as their only cost for entry, were given a free t-shirt and were able to spend up to 3 hours enjoying the beautiful fall weather with family and friends. Art Club students offered free face painting for children and music entertainment was provided by the Jr. Belles dance team. The HOSA students were doing blood pressure checks and sending all attendees home with a Woodlands Methodist lawn chair for having their blood pressure checked.
As the laps were tallied on the tags for each participant, each lap walked earned one drawing ticket to win one of three donated prizes including a family set of bicycles, a pair of fishing poles with tackle box and a set of three family outdoor games. In addition, silent auction items were available for bidding and the money raised from that alone ($966) equated to 4,830 meals for the Montgomery County Food Bank!
At a meeting with superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison and Lena Neugebauer before the school year began, the idea for this walkathon was shared with Montgomery County Food Bank President and CEO Kristine Marlow.
“I was thrilled with the idea as Montgomery was the first district to plan a walkathon for our benefit, and it’s clearly been such a successful event,” Marlow said. “It’s a win-win partnership as we help serve the families in your district and then families are coming out for this event and giving back to their own community.”
With the holidays ahead, the need always rises for families to provide for their loved ones. The pandemic and the struggle to recover has effected many Montgomery County families, increasing the need for the community to support the local food bank.
“It’s a constant and great need in our community,” Marlow continued. “When we combine the donated food by the pound with monetary donations, $1 donated equals 5 meals provided. So an event like this makes a huge impact and we are very thankful to MISD!”
Overall, Montgomery ISD’s Walkathon for Hunger brought in a total of 1,683 pounds of donated food! In addition, monetary donations totaling $1,367.80 from both silent auction and private donors provided 6,839 meals for Montgomery County residents.
“We couldn’t have done this without the help of everyone involved,” Neugebauer said. “I’m just so thankful for all who showed up and helped us support such a fabulous and necessary organization.”