Our Mission Statement….
Outer Banks Food For Thought’s mission is to reduce academic risk due to hunger by providing weekend meals during the school year for all Dare County Pre-K through 12th grade students who qualify for free and reduced-price meals. Additionally, we support scholastic participation and achievement by providing grocery gift cards, hygiene supplies, clothing, and shoes for students in need.
Who We Are….
Hunger impedes children’s ability to think, learn and develop. The school breakfast and lunch program feed children at school but not on weekends. Recognizing the tremendous need, Food for Thought was born.
This unique all-volunteer community non-profit organization, established in December 2006, is dedicated to reducing hunger and academic risk facing elementary children in Dare County by providing healthy meals to build strong minds.
How we Help….
Food For Thought helps by providing nutritious and child-pleasing non-perishable breakfasts, lunches, and snacks for elementary and middle school children on the weekends and holidays during the school year. The students must meet the federal guidelines for free or reduced breakfast and lunch. We also provide wholesome snacks for high school students.
In February 2006, this all volunteer program began as a pilot serving 54 children who met specific criteria at Manteo Elementary School. The need was so great and the benefits so apparent that Food for Thought expanded in September 2006 to encompass elementary schools, preschool and secondary students.
In 2015 it was determined that many children in middle and high school lacked the needed hygiene products to come to school prepared to learn so our School Pantry Program was born. Through the guidance offices of the schools, students have access to hygiene products and personal products such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, sunscreen, etc. Initially done with a grant from the Outer Banks Community Foundation, now several real estate companies have hygiene product drives and their employees donate these essentials. Our partners have been Village Realty, Carolina Designs Realty and Sun Realty. When we later became aware that many students also didn’t have the proper clothing for school, we worked with our partners Flying Fish Ink and Wave Riding Vehicles to provide sweatshirts. Bombas ® Socks has provided socks every year. Again, the OBCF helped with an initial grant. Now with additional grants and contributions we have also been able to provide t-shirts, underwear, leggings, etc. to those needing proper clothing.
Today, businesses, churches, community groups, governmental officials and private citizens have joined together in this community outreach program.