By Jill Fox
With school closures in place through at least April 15 and many students in Broward County relying on breakfast and lunch at school, one young Parkland resident has come up with a way to help them over spring break.
Kendall Cunningham, a fourth-grader at Heron Heights, has already packed over 200 brown bag meals in her home for Broward students less fortunate than herself.
The idea came from a lunch packing event, which takes place monthly at Cambridge Schools of Coral Springs, donating meals to LifeNet4Families.
With the social distancing guidelines in place to limit the exposure of COVID-19, her mother, Rachel had an idea. She thought that instead of everyone congregating in the same place to prepare the meals, they could pack them at home, or donate money for her family to do so in their Meadow Run home.
They arranged two options for collecting: buy non-perishable food and bring your carload to the park, or keep your kids (who will be home driving you crazy) busy by having them pack items into brown bag breakfasts and lunches.
“Our hope is they give the meals out on the weekends and over spring break when Broward County Public Schools is not providing them,” said Rachel, who added that her daughter, Kendall is the real muscle behind the operation.
Kendall, 10, and her sister, Jacsyn, 5, have created their own assembly line on their dining room table to pack the 200 plus breakfast and lunch meals.
“My sister colored on the bags and drew stuff to make the kids happy, and I filled the bags with the food,” said Kendall.
Kendall’s mom said she is a worker bee with a great heart.
“Her organizational skills are truly paying off with the little process she has going,” she said.
Kendall explained she doesn’t think it’s fair that kids don’t get to have food on the weekends or during the week if they don’t go to school to get food. According to Rachel, Kendall knows their family tries to donate to people in need.
“We live in a community where the kids are relatively privileged, so we try to keep her aware that not everybody has the same advantages and enjoyment that she has, so this is one of the ways we are trying to get her exposed to that,” she said.
The meal collection will take place at Pine Trails Park, located at 10555 Trails End, in Parkland, on Thursday, March 19, at 10 a.m. Following this, those who are able may caravan to Lifenet4Families in Lauderhill. Anyone with questions can email Rachel.
- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.