Addressing Food Insecurity

In This Section

Addressing Food Insecurity

According to the US Department of Agriculture, nearly 11 million children in the United States live in homes that experience food insecurity—and that was before the pandemic caused millions of Americans to be out of work. To support families throughout their communities, PTAs across the country are building partnerships with local food banks and other organizations to fight food insecurity in their area.

Read the stories below about PTAs that are making a difference by addressing food insecurity in their community.

Addressing Food Insecurity

Little Run Elementary PTA

Fairfax, Va.

The Little Run Elementary School PTA in Fairfax, Va., already supported food insecure families in their community by supplying bags of individually portioned meals for students to bring home over the weekend. When schools closed due to the pandemic, the PTA had to get creative. Using the COVID-19 Relief Grant sponsored by TikTok, they purchased grocery store gift cards that were distributed weekly by the school guidance counselor. They also partnered with two local churches in their hardest hit communities to build Little Free Pantries on their properties, which supplies free food to anyone in need – and offers a place for people to donate food to help others. #HowWePTA #PTAProud

In their own words:
These grocery store gift cards are really a lifeline for families who are struggling during these extraordinary times.”
—Little Run ES Guidance Counselor


Kate Waller Barrett Elementary PTA

Arlington, Va.

Kate Waller Barrett Elementary PTA

As a Title 1 school located in the heart of Arlington, Va., 61% of the student population at Kate Barrett Elementary School are eligible for free or reduced meals. Based on feedback from their school community, the PTA knew that the food assistance their families were receiving from other organizations and school meal distribution efforts were mostly non-perishable pantry food products and single-serving meals. Using their COVID-19 PTA Relief Fund Grant sponsored by Huntington Ingalls Industries, they partnered with FreshFarm, a non-profit organization that promotes sustainable agriculture and food access, to provide bags of fresh produce to families in need. As word spread about their food distribution efforts, families and local businesses pitched in by donating books and holding clothing drives, with items given out to families on their produce distribution days. We are so PTA Proud of the Kate Waller Barrett PTA for getting fresh food into the hands of their families. #HowWePTA #PTAProud

In their own words:
I thank the PTA for all the help they have given us during the pandemic. I also thank you very much for the delicious fruits and fresh vegetables. I prepared a stew with tomatoes, baked the sweet potatoes, and made a fruit salad. I can’t wait for the next distribution day.
—Kate Barret ES Parent


Loftis Middle School PTA

Hixon, Tenn.

The Loftis Middle School PTA in Hixon, Tenn., didn’t miss a beat when schools closed due to COVID-19. They started delivering packs of food to students who received weekend packs when schools were open. Concerned that they were missing families who were afraid to ask for help, they are using their COVID-19 Relief Grant sponsored by TikTok to build Little Free Pantries in several communities across their district. People can grab what they need anonymously and Loftis Middle School PTA is keeping the pantries stocked through their partnership with a local food bank and the support of other local businesses. #HowWePTA #PTAProud

In their own words:
Delivering food to areas in the greatest of need is something that is life changing in many ways. Our pantries help fill gaps in our community so that nobody goes hungry.
—Loftis Middle School PTA Hixon, Tenn.

Loftis-Middle-PTA-Pic-1



Piney Branch Elementary PTA

Takoma Park, Md.

The Piney Branch Elementary PTA joined forces with the other elementary schools in their cluster in Takoma Park, Md., to supply food and grocery store gift cards for families. What started as support for 20 families grew into supplying food boxes to over 300 families in their district each week throughout the summer. Using the COVID-19 Relief Fund Grant sponsored by TikTok, they partnered with local food banks to purchase bulk food and fresh produce and spread the word in English and Spanish for their large immigrant population. #HowWePTA #PTAProud

Piney Branch Elementary PTA

In their own words:
Our community is profoundly supported by our PTA, and the needs of those people hardest hit by the pandemic are being met.
—Rachel Heckscher, PBES-PTA member


Sleepy Hollow Elementary PTA

Falls Church, Va.

When schools closed last spring, food security was a big concern for the Sleepy Hollow Elementary School (SHES) PTA in Falls Church, Va. Nearly two-thirds of students were receiving free or reduced priced lunches prior to the pandemic, and many SHES families needed food, personal hygiene products and cleaning supplies. Using the COVID-19 Relief Grant sponsored by TikTok, SHES PTA purchased food baskets and essential supplies such as laundry and dish detergent as well as body wash to help their families in need. These families also received books to help students stay on track with their reading. #HowWePTA #PTAProud

Sleepy Hollow Elementary School

Sleepy Hollow Elementary


In their own words:
Thanks to this grant, every family who receives a food basket will also get ample hygiene supplies and books for each child in their family. And it has been so gratifying to see volunteers help at every turn.
—Monique Ramgoolie, former SHES PTA board member


Lutz K-8 PTA

Lutz, Fla.

During hurricane season in Lutz, Fla., the COVID-19 pandemic had many families unable to get food on the table, much less stockpile food for storms. Many students at Lutz K-8 School do not have proper access to food, so the PTA worked with the nonprofit One More Child and used the relief grant funding from TikTok to purchase nutritious food at wholesale prices, and store and handle the food in accordance with FDA food safety regulations and CDC guidance. The impact: Providing food to over 140 students for eight weeks! #PTAProud #PTAStory

Lutz K-8 PTA

In their own words:
With our communities in turmoil, this grant gave us one less worry for our students and their families. Providing meals to over 140 students each week has been amazing, and our families were very thankful.
—Lori Branham, Principal of Lutz K8 School


Kiptopeke Elementary PTA

Cape Charles, Va.

Kiptopeke

In their own words:
"It was important to our PTA to provide our families with some of the essentials that they just have not been able to find themselves."

With a high unemployment rate and very few local grocery stores to buy supplies, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the rural community surrounding Kiptopeke Elementary School in Cape Charles, Virginia, hard. To support their families, the Kiptopeke Elementary PTA used the COVID-19 Relief Grant sponsored by TikTok to create Wellness Packs full of hygiene essentials including soap, hand sanitizer, toilet paper and paper towels—which was no small feat given the shortage of those items at the time! Local businesses also chipped in, donating grocery store gift cards and masks. Kiptopeke Elementary PTA also made sure to include something fun for the kids to keep them occupied while they stayed safe at home. #HowWePTA #PTAProud

Kiptopeke-Pic-1



This is How We PTA

Share your story with us by using #HowWePTA on social media. Need some inspiration? Check out the amazing stories from people across the country sharing how they PTA. Jump to specific sections by clicking on the menu.