MODESTO - Assemblymember Kristin Olsen, R-Modesto, today visited students at Agnes Baptist School in Modesto who are participants in the "Food 4 Thought" program sponsored by Second Harvest Food Bank. The program is a unique incentive-based learning program that combines after-school tutoring with good nutrition for students whose families are economically disadvantaged.
"At a time when so many families are struggling to make ends meet, it is important that our community comes together to do anything we can to support our friends and neighbors," said Olsen. "I commend the work of the Second Harvest Food Bank and their partners for their daily efforts to make life better for our students who are most in need of a helping hand."
The Second Harvest Food Bank of San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties has conducted the "Food 4 Thought" program for more than 14 years as a way to address two important needs, hunger and education. Students complete eight hours of after-school tutorial programs every week, in exchange for receiving a 15 to 18 pound bag of fresh fruits, vegetables and groceries that is distributed to their families twice a month.
Originally begun in San Joaquin County, the program expanded to Stanislaus and Merced Counties in 2009 with a goal of serving 525 students at four school sites. Thanks to additional corporate generosity and community support, Food 4 Thought now serves over 800 students at nine school sites from Modesto to Merced.
"Bringing together the support of generous corporate sponsors and local community leaders, the Food 4 Thought program is making a difference in bettering the lives of underprivileged students," said Mike Mallory, CEO of the Second Harvest Food Bank. "We appreciate Assemblymember Olsen for her support of the Food 4 Thought program and our mission to improve the lives of economically disadvantaged youths in our community."