The USDA defines food insecurity as the lack of consistent access to adequate food resulting from the lack of money and other resources during the year. In the state of Georgia, one in four children live in food insecure homes. A lack of good nutritious food can prevent children from growing physically and academically.
On February 26 at 9:00 a.m., Fair Oaks Elementary School and its community partners will cut the ribbon on the Fair Oaks Fresh Market to help Cobb families who are battling food insecurity. In order to help students even beyond the Cobb County School District, the Fair Oaks Fresh Market is also available to help Marietta City Schools families in the Dunleith Elementary School community.
“Schools are no a longer a four-walled building that only provide the educational needs of the community it serves. Schools are also outreach centers that meet and support the needs of their surrounding community. The opening of our Fresh Market is a testament to that,” said Fair Oaks Principal Dean Yoder.
Fair Oaks fifth grade teacher Samantha Spratling is the Fair Oaks Fresh Market Director.
“One of the many reasons I love teaching at Fair Oaks is because we are a school truly committed to serving our community. Through our Fair Oaks Fresh Market, we support our families by ensuring that their basic needs are met, which allows our students to come to school ready to learn and succeed,” the Fair Oaks teacher explained.
The Fair Oaks Fresh Market is open every other Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. Shelves are stocked with everything from canned tuna and pasta to cereal, peanut butter, and tortillas. The refrigerators will include milk, eggs, meats, and fresh produce. In addition to food, personal hygiene items, such as shampoo and feminine products, are also available. Families also have access to gently used clothing.
Fair Oaks is stocking the shelves through partnerships with Atlanta Community Food Bank, MUST Ministries, and Mt. Bethel UMC’s Backpack Blessings program. All of the shelving and storage bins were donated by Mt. Bethel UMC’s Backpack Blessings program.
“Without the support and kindness of our incredible staff and the generosity of our partners, Atlanta Community Food Bank, Mount Bethel Church, and Must Ministries, our dream of creating this food market would have never materialized,” added Principal Yoder. “We will continue to look for more ways to meet the needs for our incredible Fair Oaks community.”