For many kids in the U.S., the upcoming holiday break means food insecurity.
The holidays are a time of giving and no one knows this better than Turquoise LeJeune Parker, a teacher at Lakewood Elementary School in Durham, North Carolina.
Since 2015, around the holidays, Parker has worked to make a “foodraiser” to help out students who may struggle with food insecurity at home.
With school out for two weeks over the holidays, students who rely on school cafeteria breakfasts and lunches may end up going hungry. So in a bid to ensure that all students can eat over the break, Parker began the fundraiser to give back to the community. She started the project back in 2015. Parker told Today:
“I had a family come to me and say, ‘’We don’t know how we’re going to eat. Can you please help us?’”
She added, “But we realized if one family was asking, there were probably a lot more who could benefit from the same thing.”
That set the wheels in motion and in 2018, they raised over $7,000 from the community, which helped people to realize there was a need for this kind of fundraising. Parker said.
“In 2018 when we did $7,000 for the first time, we fed the whole school. That really hit a lot of people differently because they were able to see that there is a need.”
Now, 2021 has proven to be the biggest fundraising year yet, after Parker and the community managed to raise over $106,000. She said:
“Amazing, speechless. It leaves me speechless. I’ve cried a little bit today. I cry a little bit every day.”
The receipt is longer than my notepad ? pic.twitter.com/9qPNibZPd4
— T. Greg Doucette (@greg_doucette) December 8, 2021