MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – WPLG Local 10 is out every day covering stories and events happening in South Florida, but when it comes to addressing food insecurity in our own communities, we bring the work home with us.
Last month, Local 10 employees, along with volunteer associates from our Food for Thought partners at Publix, packed 7,000 meals for One More Child, a Christ-centered organization that provides services to vulnerable children and struggling families.
“We serve children that are experiencing food insecurity, children of single moms, children that have been sexually trafficked and then hungry children,” said Panos Kourtesis, One More Child’s national director of partnerships.
For two hours, each volunteer packed six meals per bag, containing two food items for breakfast, two for lunch and two for dinner.
“The bags are small. They are discreet, little black bags,” added Kourtesis. “We tie them up real tight, and they fit within the backpack.”
Ten backpack meal bags were placed inside each shipping box. When all the boxes were full, they were loaded onto the One More Child truck and delivered to area schools.
The schools will then place the bags inside the students’ backpacks.
“It warms my heart to be able to do this,” said WPLG Local 10 Promotions Manager Erika Medel. “It really does.”
“We love to get out,” said Lindsey Willis, Publix media relations manager. “We love to volunteer in our communities and this is another way that we can do this and give back.”
Local 10 reporter Alexis Frazier packed her share of bags after wrapping up an early morning shift.
“I wanted to help kids in the community, in our community, who need food like this,” said Frazier.
By mid-afternoon, the truck arrived at Walker Elementary in Fort Lauderdale.
“Our families come from various economic levels, and so some have the resources, but some do not,” said Jocelyn Reid, principal of Walker Elementary. “To have something that the students can take home after school or throughout the weekend, is very beneficial.”
The truck’s next stop before returning to its Miami offices was Mandarin Lakes K-8 Academy in Homestead, where 500 backpack meals went home with students.
“This is what Local 10 is all about -- helping the community and being able to help kids. What a rewarding moment to have,” said WPLG Local 10 President & CEO Bert Medina.
With one in eight kids facing food insecurity in the United States, the need for collaboration like this is pressing and ongoing.
“We can’t do this alone,” said Kourtesis. “We are grateful for days like today and would work with anyone that likes to work and serve One More Child.”
To find out more and volunteer with One More Child, visit https://onemorechild.org/.