By Kim West
An ongoing community initiative to provide weekend nourishment to schoolchildren at risk for hunger recently received a boost through the volunteer efforts of Cub Scout Troop 24 in Athens.
In its third school year, the Full Tummy Project serves about 175 students in the city and county school systems, discreetly supplying each participating child on Friday with a bag of snacks and nonperishable meals.
Project coordinator Nikki Colwell said the Cub Scouts chose the Full Tummy Project as one of its community service projects for this school year, with each den within the troop packing food bags during one of their weekly meetings.
"We chose to partner with the Cub Scouts because hunger is a problem kids can really relate to,” Colwell said. “They understand what it means to be hungry, and they feel empowered when they can help provide another child with food to eat.
“I believe it's important for kids to know that they can make a difference, even though they are young. You can't underestimate the impact that even a simple bag of food can have on someone's life."
With the Cub Scouts and their parents contributing the food items, the dens donated 200 bags. Full Tummy generates thousands of bags filled with ready-to-eat vittles throughout the school year, according to project officials.
Misti Fillingame, a member of the Full Tummy lead team, said she appreciated both the donations and prayers provided by the Cub Scouts.
"Working with the Cub Scouts was such a blessing, especially hearing those sweet boys praying for those who are hungry,” Fillingame said.
The Full Tummy bags have an assortment of 100 percent fruit juice boxes, shelf-stable milk, fruit cups, raisin packs, cereal bars, fruit snacks, cookies, sandwich crackers, canned pasta and servable soups.
For more information, visit http://www.fulltummyproject.org or call 256-232-4906.