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Rebecca Currie is an elementary school teacher from West Palm Beach, Florida, whose goal is to feed students in need.
Rebecca, now in her ninth year of teaching, says that when she started to recognize the hunger issues in her school, as well as "just the overall burdens that students are coming to school with," she came to a realization. "These students can't possibly be focused on learning and education if they're carrying these heavy weights," Rebecca says.
"Students were really trying to stock up on food on Fridays in order to have food for the weekends because it was their last meal until Monday. With students that are living under the poverty line, there's a lot of stress for them."
Rebecca reached out to the community to see what resources were available to help her get the students what they needed. With help from the local food bank, each week, Rebecca is able to provide students and their families with pre-packed bags of dinners, lunches, breakfasts and snacks for the weekend.
"There is so much gratitude, but there is also a lot of emotion behind that for the students," she says. "We started with around 30 students a week, and then it grew to 80 students a week… It just continues to grow. There's 53,000 children in our district that do not have enough food every day."
When school shut down during the pandemic, Rebecca was especially concerned about those students. "A lot of our most needy students do not have the transportation to get to food distribution sites," she says.
"So, we decided to deliver the food for these students who are falling under the radar. My goal is to reach as many students as I possibly can through delivery to their doorstep."
Unfortunately, as Rach points out, food insecurity is an issue everywhere in America. If you want to help out in your own community, Rebecca recommends reaching out to your local food bank. She also points out that a lot of times, students need things other than food, like hygiene products or even sports bras. "There's a lot of opportunities to support schools," Rebecca says. "If you have resources, contact your local guidance counselor, contact the principal of a local school."
"You changed your community, and with your messaging today, you've changed our country," Rachael tells Rebecca. "You may have very well changed the world today." 🧡
Our friends at Gold Coast Federal Credit Union were so touched by Rebecca's story, they're donating $10,000 to the Palm Beach County Food Bank for Rebecca to keep up her pantry at school.