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The community steps up to feed hundreds of students in Prince George's County when an after-school program folds

WUSA9's Impact Team partnered with The Invisible Hand to help feed children at a Judge Woods ES in Prince George's County

GLENARDEN, Md. — According to the National Educational Association, missing meals and experiencing hunger can impair children’s development and achievement. Hungry children have lower math scores, and are more likely to repeat a grade, come to school late, or miss school entirely.

About a month ago, Prince George's County Public Schools stopped providing free student suppers bags, citing supply chain issues..

Those little supper bags meant a lot to children attending Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary School in Glenarden, according to Principal Stephanie Barber-Wehrman. She said the supper bags provide an extra meal or snack for the students who don't always know what they'll be eating at home.

School officials said 89% of students qualify for free and reduced lunch. When the supper program ended, it left nearly 700 children without a supper to take home at night. 

That's why WUSA9 teamed up with the Woodmore Wegmans and The Invisible Hand Foundation to make an impact in these children's lives.

"We are happy to donate $2,500 in gift cards," Chris Holland, spokesman for Wegmans Food Markets, said. "We're really committed to helping families that are struggling with hunger." 

Credit: WUSA9
Crew from Woodmore Wegmans

WUSA9's Impact Team bought enough food to fill 700+ supper bags for the children at Judge Sylvania Woods. Each meal kit provided a main dish, a few snacks and water or a juice box.  

First Baptist Church of Glenarden donated hundreds of granola bars and fruit cups to help with the snack portion of the meal. 

Credit: WUSA9
Wegmans donated $2,500 in gift cards and then we shopped.

School employees, volunteers and WUSA9 staff filled 1,000 bags. And then the school got another surprise.

John Pierce with The Invisible Hand showed up with two trucks filled with $5,000 worth of food.

“We heard about the need that they lost their evening meal program and we wanted to do what we could to try and restore it as best we can," Pierce said. "Our mission is to lift people over obstacles. We heard that there could be a few meals needed for some young kids. We're delighted to come out and share some of you so much.”

Credit: WUSA9
Judge Woods workers, volunteers and WUSA9 packed 1,000 supper bags.

The Invisible Hand Foundation relies on the power of anonymous donors giving to anonymous recipients so the two never know each other in order to maintain the integrity of the beneficiary.  They hope this act of kindness will inspire others to do the same. 

According to the Food Research and Action Center, 1 in 7 children, or 15% of households with children, could not buy enough food for their families in 2020.

If you'd like to help make an impact, food or monetary donations can be dropped off between 7:30 a.m. and 1:55 p.m.

Credit: WUSA9
The Invisible Hand donated $5,000 worth of food to Judge Woods ES
Credit: WUSA9

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