Many children come to school hungry and struggle to concentrate over the sound of their stomachs grumbling. We began the United Way Ambassador Project, Weekender Program at Leverette school. The program allows volunteers to get involved in our community by creating take-home packages with healthy food choices for students.
Many inner-city Toledo residents have limited or no access to healthy food options in their neighborhood grocery and convenience stores. That's why we partner with other agencies and organizations to support the Double-Up Food Bucks Program. The program doubles food assistance dollars at local farmer's markets, allowing families to stretch their limited food budget and apply those dollars towards better food choices.
Gardens and Greenhouses
We also support many community gardens and satellite farmer's markets in low-income neighborhoods. This spring, we are proud to announce the Oneida Farm Market Stand will be open for business. The market stand will help youth from the surrounding neighborhood learn entrepreneurial and job skills while teaching hands-on math and providing the surrounding community with increased access to fresh produce.
Safe areas where children can play outside are difficult to find. We're dedicated to finding a solution and providing neighborhood supports to ensure safe exercise and play all year long. We partner with many neighborhood organizations to provide out-of-school-time activities for kids. We've also started the walking school bus program. We recruit volunteers and coordinate adults to walk with children to and from school in groups. The children are able to arrive at their destination safely, and get the necessary exercise they need at the same time.
We are committted to increasing the nutritional value of food in our community. We're working with direct service providers to increase understanding of the nutritional content in the food they provide. We're also empowering parents and care givers with useful nutritional information, responsible food marketing and labeling practices. In addition, we're advocating to influence business and government leaders on the affects of unhealthy eating on academic performance and economic development in order to influence policies and practices.