More than 15,000 meals have been delivered over the past four weeks to students enrolled in the Maury County Public Schools Summer S.T.A.R. reading program as part of The Well Outreach food pantry's JetPack Program, a program designed to help supply food to students in need.
Launched last year as a means to help supplement meals for students who may have seen their schools close temporarily during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Well's JetPack Program has partnered with more than 20 schools in both Williamson and Maury counties.
"Thanks to the cooperation and support of Maury County Schools and each S.T.A.R. Camp site director, The Well was able to provide 15,000 meals to their students," writes Anne Marie, director of JetPack Student Feeding Programs at The Well.
"This feat could only be achieved with the help of dozens of Well Volunteers that came weekly to pack the bags and travel throughout Maury County delivering them to each of the thirteen sites."
Tennessee ranks as having the 10th highest number of students receiving subsidized meals in the country, with almost 21% of Tennessee students receiving free or reduced lunches, and 55% of Tennessee students eligible for such programs in 2019. The Well's JetPack program aims to target those students for assistance, particularly during a time when remote learning becomes more common.
The Well will continue its JetPack Program throughout the summer. Food packs contain 10 meals and 10 snacks, with any student from any school being eligible for assistance.