Huskies Help to Alleviate Hunger

By Ellie VanDuyne, Section Editor

Community outreach has long been a focus of Flint Hill, but the Covid-19 pandemic has made it more difficult than ever to organize healthy ways to volunteer. With the ever-growing food insecurity problem in America, what better time is there to come together and make a difference?

In Fairfax County alone, thousands of families must choose between spending money for food or other basic needs like housing and healthcare. Each weekend, children leave local public schools only to go home to a place without enough food. They return to school on Monday with empty stomachs that don’t allow them to learn properly. “The need has never been greater,” said Linda Okoth, Upper School Art Teacher and All-School Service Coordinator. Over 200,000 children are in the Fairfax County public school system, and a whopping 28,000 are classified as food insecure. “Food insecurity is so much more,” she said. “It’s not being certain where your next meal is coming from or if it’s going to happen.”

In an effort to reduce this problem, Flint Hill, in collaboration with Food for Others, will be hosting a school-wide meal pack during the annual Tip-Off Basketball Tournament. “We have the opportunity to reach out,” said Okoth. “I think this is going to be extremely important for us.”

The event will take place in the Upper School on December 3, 2021. Organized by Flint Hill’s Advancement Office and the Parents’ Association, it’s an excellent opportunity for Flint Hill families to volunteer their time to help. Students in the Upper School are highly encouraged to participate. “There are two main reasons students should consider volunteering,” said Meredith VanDuyne, Assistant Head of School for Institutional Advancement. “One is that they can provide immediate help for the thousands of children in our area who need food on the weekends. The second is that you can get service hours while having fun with your friends.”

Students in the Upper School can participate either as a meal packer or have a leadership role in organizing the event. Even if you aren’t able to lend a hand, you can still play a part in making it a success by donating food. Anyone interested should look for information regarding the specific details in the Morning Report.

The meal pack will be Flint Hill’s first campus-wide school service event in over two years. On why the event is important after a year of Covid-19, Okoth said, “I do believe that being engaged in this kind of work helps out the Flint Hill family in terms that we’ve all been isolated. It will help us connect. We’ll feel whole again.” Covid-19 has limited the ways in which one can volunteer their time to better serve their community. As the restrictions let up and make way for more accessible volunteer opportunities, there could not be an easier way to get involved than with the meal pack.