“Helping Hands Ending Hunger” program helps kids in need

"Helping Hands Ending Hunger" program

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Statistics from the Georgia Food Bank show one in four children go hungry in the state of Georgia, a rate that’s higher than average.

But a new program is helping kids get food over the weekends when they don’t have free breakfast and lunch programs that schools provide.

"Helping Hands Ending Hunger” is nonprofit program that’s only in seven counties across the state, Dougherty being the only one in Southwest Georgia.

Students at Lake Park Elementary School in Albany said they want to make sure their friends stay full when they’re not at school.

With the rustling of plastic wrappers, two Lake Park Elementary students stand eagerly in front of a yellow sign that reads “Helping Hands Ending Hunger.”

Helping Hands Ending Hunger is a nonprofit program (Source: WALB)
Helping Hands Ending Hunger is a nonprofit program (Source: WALB)

It's 7:30 on a sleepy Monday morning and kids are finishing up their free breakfast, donuts wrapped around their fingers.

“It makes me happy knowing that people that don’t get food on the weekends are going to have some. Instead of waiting and waiting until school on Monday to have something," said Banks Revell, a 4th grader.

He donates his leftovers to the nonprofit each day. Since Dougherty County is on a free breakfast and lunch program, everything has already been paid for.

Students drop off anything that hasn’t been opened, ranging from milk and orange juice to cheese and fruit loops.

Items are stored and refrigerated to ensure nothing spoils.

Banks Revell, 4th grade student, Lake Park Elementary (Source: WALB)
Banks Revell, 4th grade student, Lake Park Elementary (Source: WALB)

At the end of the week everything is bagged and given to 30 students who otherwise wouldn't know where their next meal is coming from.

“It makes me happy knowing they’re going to have something," he said.

The brains behind bringing this operation to Dougherty County is a former teacher herself.

“I have seen the food going in the trash and I know there are people who would enjoy having that food,” said Cathy Revell, the administrator for “Helping Hands Ending Hunger” in the county.

Reducing waste and hunger one meal at a time.

Cathy Revell, Administrator, "Helping Hands Ending Hunger" (Source: WALB)
Cathy Revell, Administrator, "Helping Hands Ending Hunger" (Source: WALB)

Lake Park is one of six schools in Dougherty County participating in the non-profit program.

Since the program began in September, Cathy Revell is working to expand to more elementary and middle schools throughout the county within the next month.

Elementary schools already implementing the program:

  • Alice Coachman
  • Lake Park
  • Lincoln 
  • Morningside 
  • Northside
  • Robert Harvey

Schools that will be implementing the program this month:

  • Turner Elementary 
  • International Studies Elementary
  • Albany Springs Middle
  • Radium Middle
  • Robert Cross Middle

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