At Foothills Elementary School in the Green Mountain area, 76% of its 279 students are on free and reduced lunch. Originally, the school had offered a backpack program to families of the school so …
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At Foothills Elementary School in the Green Mountain area, 76% of its 279 students are on free and reduced lunch. Originally, the school had offered a backpack program to families of the school so that they would have enough food to eat on weekends, but there was a problem ─ people didn’t get to choose what food they received.
Now, times are different at the preschool through fifth-grade school. When families go to Foothills, they can choose from fresh food like milk, eggs, meat and more.
Located on the school’s campus at 13165 W. Ohio Ave. is The Hub at Foothill Foodies, a resource center that offers food and clothing. Aside from serving the Foothills community, the resource center is open to all of the Green Mountain area from 3-4 p.m. every Friday and by appointment. The resource center held a grand reopening at the beginning of the month.
“It’s good for us. We’re the only (Title I school) in (the Green Mountain area),” said Josh Shapiro, the school’s principal. Each school district determines which schools receive Title I funds, according to the Colorado Department of Education. All schools with 75% or more of its students who are considered low-income are required to receive the government funds.
The food comes from places like the Acton Center resource service, Safeway and schools in the Green Mountain area like Devinny Elementary, Green Mountain Elementary, Hutchinson Elementary and more. The clothes are provided from A Precious Child, an organization that assists children and families facing life challenges like abuse and neglect, crisis situations and poverty.
“We just started building these partnerships with the community, and it seemed like overnight we had donations coming. One of the great things about Foothills is it’s our school,” said Bernadette Marquez, the school’s family liaison. “It’s a team effort, and we’re all in.”
Part of that team effort includes a helping hand from students at the school. Each Friday afternoon at Foothills, students participate in an elective period which gives them the opportunity to participate in something they’re passionate about. Among the elective options include yearbook, guitar lessons, gymnastics, chess and working at The Hub at Foothill Foodies. Students help by stocking food, carrying carts and packing grocery bags.
“There’s people that don’t have food, and I like to help those people. I get it from my mom, because she’s a caretaker,” said Audrina Nesbitt, a fifth grader at Foothills.
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