Have you ever wondered about the children who get their best meals in the school cafeteria? What happens when they’re not in school? 

Many children who qualify for free lunch or reduced fee lunch at their schools have little to eat at home and return to school after weekends distracted by their hunger and unable to focus on learning.

Family Mentor Foundation’s goal is to bridge the gap; to send these kids home with a Buddy Box every Friday during the school year to alleviate their hunger. A Buddy Box is a box filled with kid-friendly, nutritious, nonperishable, individual sized-food items that are easy for children to eat or prepare on their own. These meals and snacks help sustain children on the weekends when they are not in school.

Currently, we provide Buddy Boxes for 550 hungry children at schools in Worthington, Columbus and South-Western City School Districts. Buddy Boxes are packed and filled by volunteers at Community and Corporate Gather & Give Events.

To qualify for this program your school needs to be in partnership with Family Mentor Foundation and be able to help organize and distribute our Buddy Boxes.

How it works:

  • Food is purchased with the support of local donors and community food drives. Boxes of food are assembled by volunteer groups and are distributed through the schools. Each Buddy Box costs Family Mentor Foundation $5.00 to assemble.

  • Each Buddy Box is filled with nonperishable, individual-sized foods: 2 microwavable meals, 1 shelf stable milk or pudding, 2 fruit cups, 1 vegetable cup, 2 granola bars and 2 oatmeal packets.

Our history:

  • During the 2014-2015 school year, 150 students were served during four long breaks, equaling 600 large backpacks.

  • During the 2015-2016 school year, we provided 250 students with a total of 8,250 Buddy Bags.

  • During the 2016-2017 school year, we served 350 students in eight schools with 1,400 Buddy Bags per month for a grand total of 12,600 Buddy Bags!

We currently have 1,200 children waiting to be a part of this program. We need your help to meet this need! Please help us conquer childhood hunger in our own neighborhoods by becoming a volunteer or by making a donation today.