Giving Children Access to Food and Books This Summer in Lanier County

Lanier County Family Connection, Second Harvest of South Georgia, and Lanier County Schools have come together to provide food and books to children in Lanier County this summer.

“We’re so pleased that Second Harvest is providing meals through their mobile food service program,” said Lanier County Schools assistant superintendent Kristin Doyon. “This partnership ensures that children have access to nutritious food throughout the summer months. Research shows that diet and nutrition impact a child’s ability to learn.”

The Literacy for Learning, Living, and Leading (L4GA) District Team meets quarterly during the
school year to discuss literacy goals and outcomes from birth to adulthood. A recent team discussion included census data pointing out a section of the community with higher numbers of kids not in preschool as well as higher numbers of teens not in school or working.

According to the latest Georgia KIDS COUNT data, 54.5% of children in Lanier are enrolled in the Georgia Pre-K program from low-income families. And 9.5% of teens in Lanier are not in school and not working—higher than Georgia’s average of 7.9%.

Examining the data led the L4GA District Team to look for ways to locate these children and families to provide them with necessary resources like food and literacy materials.

“Our mission is to improve the lives of children and families in Lanier County, and communities do this best when they collaborate,” said Lanier County Family Connection director Amy Griffin. “This initiative is a great way for us to help families who may not have access to a variety of resources during the summer.”

Families can walk or drive to designated locations to pick up sack lunches for children ages 18 and under along with literacy materials for families:

June 27; July 18 and 25
10:30 – 11 a.m., Child Resource Center, 51 7th Street
11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., Lanier County Fire Station #6 on the corner of Smith Dairy Road and Amber Drive

June 29; July 6, 13, and 20
10:30 – 11 a.m., Stockton Quick Stop, 508 US 84 Stockton
11 a.m. – 12 p.m., Oak Ridge, 39 Oak Ridge Subdivision
12:15 – 12:45 p.m., Mud Creek Fire Station on the corner of River Raid and Harry Sirmans Lane

“By joining forces with Second Harvest of South Georgia and Lanier County Schools, hundreds of children throughout designated areas in the community now have access to much needed resources this summer,” said Griffin.

Through a sign-up link distributed by Lanier County Schools and Lanier County Family Connection, volunteers have signed up to participate and are serving alongside Second Harvest mobile site. To volunteer or learn more, visit the Lanier County Family Connection website or Facebook page.