Attendees will enjoy traditionally roasted local oysters, fish stew, hot dogs, live music from Southern Flavor Bluegrass and The Secret Ingredients as well as a silent auction and activities for the kids. Please bring your own beverages. Coolers are welcome!
Tickets are $75 for adults and $25 for children ages 3-12. Ages 2 and under are free. Limited number of children’s tickets available. This event will sell out!
When: Saturday, February 29, 2020 from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Where: Goat Island Gatherings, Goat Island, South Carolina *Boat shuttles provided by Barrier Island Eco Tours from the Isle of Palms Marina located at 50 41st Avenue, Isle of Palms. Shuttles to and from the event will be provided every half hour.
Why: To have a great time AND to raise funds to support Catch Up on Lunch, a nonprofit initiative that raises funds and awareness to combat past due school lunch debts for Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley County kids.
About Catch Up On Lunch: For the 2019-2020 school year, lunch debt in the three counties already totals over $100,000, forcing schools to choose between incurring the debt or feeding their students! Large past due lunch balances take funds from staff development, learning materials, arts programs and other initiatives in our schools. It also places students at risk for lunch shaming, a practice in which students who have used up their school meal accounts are denied lunches, served cold or cheap food instead of a hot meal, or are sent home with stamps on their hands to remind their parents to settle their balances.
By providing an alternative financial resource to address student lunch debt, educating the public on lunch shaming, and creating a dialogue on ways to address food insecurity, Catch Up On Lunch combats the difficulties that students and their families face as they struggle with inconsistent access to nutritious meals at school.
Kid-fueled nonprofit I Heart Hungry Kids is growing up
by: Lauren B. Johnson
How the nonprofit started by three young brothers addresses childhood hunger
I Heart Hungry Kids—founded by brothers Jackson, Gabe, and Riley Silverman—works to address childhood hunger through service, community outreach, and advocacy.
As children, we’re taught to use the buddy system, share with others, and lend a helping hand. No one would expect these simple preschool lessons might apply to the complexities of the local childhood hunger crisis. But, sometimes, the most straightforward ideas can make the biggest difference.
When he was seven years old, Jackson Silverman learned that 16,000 kids go hungry each weekend in Charleston County. Having watched his mother serve at the Lowcountry Food Bank, the determined boy decided he wanted to contribute. At the time, the charity lacked opportunities for kids, so Jackson cooked up the idea for a peer-to-peer program connecting young do-gooders with the food bank’s BackPack Buddies initiative. Jackson—along with his twin brothers, Gabe and Riley—jumpstarted I Heart Hungry Kids in 2013 with the help of a $500 grant from food services giant Sodexo.
Since its founding, the focus of this kid-operated nonprofit has been on the packing parties—energetic gatherings of 135 child volunteers who assemble bags of foodstuffs. BackPack Buddies then distributes the meal kits to Title One schools in the Tricounty area each Friday. As the face of I Heart Hungry Kids’ hands-on service opportunities, Jackson kicks off each party with a welcome speech explaining the day’s mission—over the years, he’s become quite a public speaker, delivering a TED talk at the age of 11 and, later this month, a PechaKucha presentation with his brothers.
After firing up the crowd, Jackson turns the stage over to DJ Gabe, who spins high-tempo beats, while Riley hits the kitchen with a nutritionist to fuel the volunteer force with healthy snacks. The energy is palpable as kids dance down the assembly line of nonperishables. “These kids are motivated to work hard, knowing the next child who touches the bag is someone in need,” says the boys’ mom, Tiffany.
Jackson, now 14, and Gabe and Riley, now 12, have grown up alongside the nonprofit. The boys plan to host four packing parties in 2020 as well as explore the areas of philanthropy most meaningful to them. Jackson, a high-school freshman, recently collected more than 3,000 pounds of canned food for James Island Outreach for his Eagle Scout project. Riley is a grower for Katie’s Krops, tending three school garden beds to donate his harvest directly to shelters and food banks. He also heads up a fight against school lunch debt with an effort dubbed Catch Up on Lunch. During the past year, the project has paid four local schools’ debts, reducing the Tricounty’s $600,000 lunch tab by $25,000. Gabe is focused on community outreach through canned food drives, raising awareness, and fundraising events.
Josh, the boys’ dad, says helping others can be a part of a child’s life from a very young age. Tiffany adds, “Our most important job is to help our children become men of character and substance. We’re planting seeds now for a lifetime of service.”
For our October 2019 Halloween Themed Packing Party, I Heart Hungry Kids brought together over 130 trained youth volunteers aged 5-18 (and a few awesome adults) to pack 9,600 pounds of food for Lowcountry kids in need.
In September 2019, I Heart Hungry Kids brought together over 125 trained youth volunteers aged 5-18 (and a few awesome adults) to pack 8,000 meals for Lowcountry kids in need. And we got it all done in about 30 minutes!
Special thanks this month to Food Drive Challenge sponsors Lowes Foods of Mt. Pleasant. They donated 226 pounds of food that benefited James Island Outreach, and our awesome Packing Party families brought in 196 pounds that went to the Lowcountry Food Bank.