Playtime: Local gyms launch food drive for homeless kids

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Jen Marx
Jen Marx

Since I first covered an effort to help homeless students in the Edmonds School District, the number of students has doubled. In 2013, the district’s liaison to the homeless told me there were close to 250 children in the school district who were without permanent housing. I just spoke with Deborah Anderson, Executive Director of the Foundation For Edmonds School District, and she told me that the last count was over 500 students.

The Nourishing Network came to be in 2014 through the Foundation for Edmonds School District. In partnership with ESD, the Nourishing Network serves as a weekend meal program for the district’s homeless and low income families. Per their website, “Often these students leave school Friday and do not have another meal until Monday morning.”

Currently, 145 students in 19 ESD schools are served weekly.

According to Leadership Snohomish County Executive Director Kathy Coffey, a group working on a Community Impact Project, including Shanon Tysland, owner of Experience Momentum, are teaming up with the Nourishing Network to focus on local food scarcity. This is where we come in! The group is holding a food drive starting May 2nd at five local gyms: Experience Momentum, CrossFit Industrious, Lynnwood CrossFit, Edmonds CrossFit, and CrossFit Paramount.

The food drive, which lasts throughout May, is collecting single- serving, ready-to-eat, shelf-stable foods, and will also be collecting cash donations at each location. The list of “high need” foods can be found HERE.

Beyond weekend meals, in 2015 the Nourishing Network piloted a summer meal program that served 13 students for about six weeks. Not only did the children receive a nutritious lunch, they participated in fun physical activities as part of the program, which is expanding this summer. The Nourishing Network also provided holiday meals during winter break and handed out over 350 stockings stuffed with treats and gifts.

If you want to help or you need help yourself, you can contact the Nourishing Network by clicking HERE, or by calling Deborah Anderson at 425-431-7260.

— By Jennifer Marx

Jen Marx, a mom of two young boys, is always looking for a fun place to take the kids that makes them tired enough to go to bed on time. You can find her trying to make sense of begging kids to ” just eat the mac n cheese” at jen_marx . If you have a kid-friendly event you’d like to share, email her at play@myedmondsnews.com.

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