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Hunger Fighters pay off school lunch debts

No child should be hungry at school.

And thanks to some community members and students at Davie High School, the lunch debt of every student in Davie County Schools was paid in full.

Paying off this debt, which totaled around $6,500, will give families around our community peace of mind this holiday season, said Jimmie Welch, Davie High Hunger Fighters (DHHF) leader, teacher and coach. Initiated by anonymous donors, funds were collected, just over $1,000. Davie High Hunger Fighters (DHHF) met as a board and decided to pay off the rest, clearing the debt.

DHHF is a food assistance program based on the principle that meeting student’s basic nutritional needs will help with academic success. The mission is to provide food to Davie County High students in need and their families. Food bags are packed weekly, placed in discrete bags, and picked up by students.

Welch says the program began several years ago when school staff members noticed students were coming to school just to get food, even when they were not required to be in school that day. While the organization is in the high school, the debt of the entire school district was addressed in this gift to families of students.

“We have been very blessed with generous donors, so we wanted to extend our reach to other schools in Davie County,” said Lori Smith, a DHHF board member and member of the board of education. “Over long holiday breaks, large boxes of food are packed and delivered by volunteers and Davie High school staff. A few weeks ago, community volunteers and members of the board of education helped deliver 55 Thanksgiving meals to our students’ homes.”

“Davie County Schools is deeply appreciative of the focus that DHHF has on our students and this specific act of kindness speaks volumes to the impact they have in the lives of our students all year long,” said George Sulecki, student nutrition director. “Nutrition is integral to the academic and overall well-being of our students.”

Davie High Hunger Fighters is creating a coat closet within the school, and having a “blessing box” stocked with snacks, protein bars, personal hygiene items, etc. for students to grab and go as needed.

To support DHHF, contact Welch at (336) 751-5905 or welchj@davie.k12.nc.us.