May 17—Most members of the Big I Kentucky group that will be in Owensboro Tuesday, May 16, for the group's annual leadership conference are parents, or they have family or friends with children, said Erin Fosson, Big I sales and marketing director.
So when the group, formerly known as the Independent Insurance Agents of Kentucky, was searching for a service project to benefit the host community for the conference, they turned to the local public school districts, Fosson said.
On Tuesday, the 75 members of the Big I group will be collecting and organizing 1,200 take-home bags for the students of Daviess County and Owensboro schools. In order to reach the most students with the most needs, Fosson and her team reached out to Family Resource Youth Service Center representatives from each district.
Big I Kentucky will be hosting its leadership conference at the Owensboro Convention Center, Hampton Inn, and Holiday Inn on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Conference members will all take part in the service project, called Big I Gives Back, by helping to gather all the food items, along with representatives from each school district.
With the end of the school year quickly approaching, Fosson and the Big I group wanted to do something that would be impactful for students in their immediate future.
"The stats on children who are hungry and that utilize school meals for their main source of food are staggering," Fosson said.
Caleb York, Daviess County Public Schools school support coordinator, was contacted by representatives from Big I about this service project. He then reached out to Amanda Hirtz, with the Owensboro Public Schools district, so city schools students could benefit as well.
Hirtz, Owensboro Innovation Middle School youth service center coordinator, said 600 OPS students will be impacted by this donation. Each of the schools within the district will receive a specific number of bags, based on the needs of their student population.
She said this donation comes at a great time in the school year. There are always a few days in between students' last day of school, and when the district's summer feeding program begins.
"This gives them a little extra as the kids are getting ready for the mobile food routes to start up," she said.
York said that FRYSCs are always focused on removing barriers and creating opportunities for students to succeed, and that he and other FRYSC representatives are "so grateful" to groups like Big I Kentucky for giving back and serving the students and families of Daviess County and Owensboro schools.
"It is inspiring to see a group that wants to walk alongside FRYSCs, district and school staff, and community members to impact the lives of our families," he said.