"There's a lot of opportunities to support schools," Rebecca says. "If you have resources, contact your local guidance counselor or the principal."
REBECCA CURRY: I'm Rebecca Curry from West Palm Beach. I'm a teacher at North Grade, and my goal is to feed students in need. I'm in my ninth year of teaching. And when I started to realize the hunger issues in school, and also just the overall burdens that students are coming to school with, it just really made me know that these students can't possibly be focused on learning and be focused on education if they're carrying these heavy weights.
Students were really trying to stock up on food on Fridays in order to have food for the weekends because it was their last meal until Monday. With students that are living under the poverty line, there's a lot of stress for them. So I've really tried to reach out to the community to see what kind of resources we have that surround our school that enable the students to have what they need. First, I reached out to a local church that had a relationship with the food bank. And I asked them if they could help me get backpacks for these students each Friday. And then I reached out to the teachers. They do know they are intimately involved with those students in class, and they see the hoarding of food or the constantly asking for snacks. So they let me know which students were the most vulnerable.
We've been so blessed. We have received a pack each week where we have basically the two dinners and the two lunches for Saturday and Sunday and then snacks and breakfast for them. The good thing about the meals is it's not just for a child, there is enough for the family too. So it's really something that we try to alleviate for them, but they don't have that worry. A lot of them feel so much gratitude, or they're actually insecure that that food is going to come every week. So there is so much gratitude, but there's also a lot of emotion behind that for the students.
We started with around 30 students a week. And it grew to 80 students a week, and during the pandemic when the schools shut down, we were so concerned about those students because a lot of our most needy students do not have the transportation to get to food distribution sites. So we decided to deliver the food for these students who are falling under the radar. My goal is to just really reach as many students as I possibly can through delivery to their doorstep.
RACHAEL RAY: Our friends of Gulf Coast Federal Credit Union. Gold Coast Federal Credit Union love you. They were so touched by what you're doing. They're donating $10,000 to the Palm Beach County Food Bank, so you can specifically keep up your pantry.
REBECCA CURRY: Oh my-- I don't even know what to say. I can't think of a better place for it to go. I am so thankful. Oh my God. They are so good. Every single week they deliver Monday morning, and my pantry's stocked. And I have those prepacked bags for those kids. I can just hand them. I love what you said about evening the playing field through the Palm Beach County Food Bank-- Yes, thank you so much to Gold Coast. That is incredible.
RACHAEL RAY: Gold Coast you're amazing. I have chills head to toe. And Rebecca, I can't thank you enough. You changed your community, and with your messaging today, you've changed our country. And who knows, people write me occasionally from all over the planet Earth. You may have very well changed the world today, my friend. You're a hero. You're a rock star. You're what we call a 2021-er.