In the Lubbock elementary schools, we have a program very similar to Snack Pak 4 Kids called Food 2 Kids. The Junior League of Lubbock, which I am a part of, works with this program to help kids in our area have food over the weekend. It’s an incredible program, but we have been researching how to expand it to serve more children in our community.
For years, we have heard about Snack Pak and the amazing strides they are making in the Amarillo community to reduce child food insecurity. Our group knew SP4K could provide the guidance we needed to help Food 2 Kids impact more kids.
One day, Snack Pak 4 Kids reached out to me, offering to help our program in any way possible. Shortly after, I got to talking with the SP4K team. Not only were they a wealth of information, but I could also tell they truly care about helping us feed more children. They’re not wrapped up with the name behind it – whether it be Snack Pak or Food 2 Kids. They wanted to help us ensure that no Lubbock child goes home hungry, in any way that they could.
After our conversation, I was almost in tears. I wanted so badly for our community to be able to feed more children. Yet, my head swarmed with doubts. This would be a huge task. Where would we even start? Our community has several groups that help feed children; however, there are still so many gaps.
But I could feel the SP4K team’s passion burning on the other side of that phone call, and it was infectious! It was so inspiring and encouraging that I knew we could all band together make this possible for the children in our community.
In November, SP4K asked if my group would like to come to Amarillo and spend the day with the organization to get a closer look at the entire SP4K program. We jumped at the opportunity. Now, I know many people have taken tours of the warehouse, which is extremely impressive, but what SP4K was offering us was unlike anything groups from our community had seen before. We were thrilled to accept the invitation!
The entire SP4K model is more than just impressive; it is truly something we hope we can stride toward in our community. SP4K spent the entire day showing us several Amarillo Snack Shaks, setting up introductions with community members to share their experiences, and allowing us to attend the sack stuffing at the warehouse that night with more than 200 volunteers.
It was so helpful to see the entire program – and how children are reached from the age of elementary all the way to high school. We love how SP4K adapts as children grow to make sure food insecurity is not a problem, no matter the age of the child.
Dyron took the time to sit with us and answer any questions about what we had seen that day. He brainstormed and dreamed with us about our vision and how we could implement some things in our community to help us feed more children.
We were also able to hear about the latest amazing extension to the SP4K program: providing brand name items in every Snack Pak. It’s incredible how the agriculture community came together to bring the SP4K Beef Stik and Fairlife Milk to the children. In my opinion, this shows how much they truly care, and that nutrition and the quality of the items in the sacks does matter!
Growing up in an agriculture family, I was in awe to see how all the pieces came together to make those things happen. I know the agriculture community is a tight one and is known for looking out for one another. But to see these companies that I’ve grown up with uniting to provide high-quality items for the children is touching beyond words.
The difference it makes is huge. And it is not just in the Amarillo community. Because of their work alongside SP4K, children all over the State of Texas can have access to those amazing products.
As I now reflect on the past months, it was honestly one of the best experiences I had last year.
Please don’t get me wrong: It’s heartbreaking to read the children’s letters on the wall at the SP4K warehouse and to think of children not knowing where their next meal will come from. But, as we left Amarillo that night, we were certain of one thing: Children in their community were not going to be hungry over the weekend.
SP4K and the Amarillo community are both dedicated to ensuring that doesn’t happen, and they make sure every child they know needs food, gets food. Every single person we met that day shared a common goal and common passion: to be a voice for the children in their community, to serve others and show what love really looks like, and to show dignity and respect.
More than 6,000 lives were touched that day thanks to the selfless love of those in the Amarillo community. I hope we can all strive to take care of our own as you have.
We are thankful for the open arms and insight that was shared and are so excited to use this insight to help Food 2 Kids make an even bigger difference in the Lubbock community.
Kacee Hogg, a Texas Tech University graduate, worked as an educator at the Frenship Independent School District. Today, she is a stay-at-home mom. She and her husband Jon have two children, Brynlee and Becton.
Kacee and Jon have a passion for helping those in their community and around the world. They created a ministry that provides groceries for families in need in Romania. When Kacee and Jon aren’t on mission trips or volunteering in the Lubbock community, they’re chasing their children around stock shows and various sporting events.
Kids can’t learn if they’re hungry. Find out how to start a Snack Shak in your school by clicking the button below!