Jeffco Eats hoping for a second helping

Young nonprofit wants to double the amount of children it feeds

Posted 10/30/18

Andrea Syko sees students at Emory Elementary School in Lakewood suffer from hunger every day. Syko, the school’s family engagement liaison, says some students at the school struggle to eat, …

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Jeffco Eats hoping for a second helping

Young nonprofit wants to double the amount of children it feeds

Posted

Andrea Syko sees students at Emory Elementary School in Lakewood suffer from hunger every day. Syko, the school’s family engagement liaison, says some students at the school struggle to eat, because their families don’t have food at home. Some of the families Syko works with often have to choose between paying rent, or buying groceries.

This isn’t just a problem at Emory Elementary School. According to Jefferson County Public Health, 26,441 students enrolled in Jeffco Public Schools grades preschool through 12th were eligible for free and reduced lunch.

“It’s a big problem, and it’s heartbreaking to see these families struggling. We have a lot of kids on free and reduced lunch, but it doesn’t seem to be enough,” Syko said.

Emory Elementary School is one of the schools that Jeffco Eats provides weekend food for students and families.

The nonprofit serves Lakewood, Wheat Ridge, Edgewater and Arvada, and is focused on ensuring that families don’t go hungry on the weekends. Jeffco Eats, which is partnered with Food Bank of the Rockies and the Jefferson County Colorado Department of Education Title One and Homeless area directors, is hosting its Faces of Hunger and Poverty Fundraising Dinner at the Hampton Inn in Lakewood on Nov. 10 at 6:30 p.m.

The nonprofit is asking for support from the community as it tries to double the number of children it feeds each week. Jeffco Eats, which is only two years old, says it currently feeds 400 children a week. It recently won Lakewood’s Mayor’s Inspiration Award for the work it has done in the community.

“The reality for me is that these children are crying. They cry that they don’t have food,” said Barbara Moore, executive director for Jeffco Eats. “It’s a reality that we hear from the schools that we work with.”

The fundraising event will include dinner, drinks, entertainment and an auction. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased at jeffcoeats.org/November-10-faces-of-hunger-fundraiser/.

“The only thing that is guaranteed to lift your spirits is to help someone else,” said Peter Freitag, the operations volunteer leader for Jeffco Eats.

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