Nourishing Network updates School Board on students served last year

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Foundation for Edmonds School District shared this photo of the food raised by a student during her birthday party, where she asked for food to be donated to Nourishing Network in lieu of gifts. (Photo courtesy Foundation for Edmonds School District)
Foundation for Edmonds School District shared this photo of the food raised by a student during her birthday party, where she asked for food to be donated to Nourishing Network in lieu of gifts. (Photo courtesy Foundation for Edmonds School District)

Nourishing Network, a program by the Foundation for Edmonds School District, benefits some of the district’s kids who are most in need by feeding them over the weekend and during school breaks.

Two members of the Foundation, Executive Director Deb Anderson and Ex-Officio Trustee Mark Madison, spoke to the Edmonds School Board Tuesday night to update them on how the program has been helping students.

As of June 2016, there were 641 homeless students in the district. In the 2015-2016 school year, 4,573 weekend meals were served to students, typically packed up at the Nourishing Network’s pantry in disposable bags and discretely distributed to kids on Friday afternoons. In addition, 1,240 feminine hygiene kits and 550 hygiene kits were given to students. Nourishing Network also saved three families from becoming homeless.

Last year, 145 cases of Girl Scout cookies were donated to Nourishing Network, so weekend meals included a special treat. Anderson shared a story of one student saying she was so excited to open her weekend meal bag because she knew a cookie treat would be waiting for her.

Nourishing Network also provides holiday meals and stockings to families in the district.

“These are full holiday meals, including turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, everything,” Anderson said.

As for the stockings, she said a woman in the community spends the year sewing stockings, and on one Saturday, community volunteers come together to stuff them.

Last year, 60 holiday meals were served and 350 stockings were distributed.

Nourishing Network receives tremendous community support, Anderson said, including one girl who asked for food to donate to the program for her birthday, 45 churches, 13 businesses and two scout troops, among other groups.

The School Board thanked the Foundation for Edmonds School District for their presentation on Nourishing Network and for the work they are doing with the district’s children. For more information about Nourishing Network, click here.

After that presentation, the Board voted to approve an updated version of a student attendance policy. Policy 8125 had not been updated for about two decades, making it overdue for an update.

The old two-page policy also left a lot of vague instructions that were difficult to interpret. The new policy, which is one page of policy and philosophy followed by four pages of detailed procedures, makes it much more clear what should happen if a student misses class. Read the new policy here.

Tuesday night’s School Board meeting was shorter than 90 minutes, ending before 8 p.m.

–By Natalie Covate

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