Each year the Junior League of Collin County’s (JLCC) provisional classes participate in a variety of community projects as part of their membership requirements. A provisional is considered a woman is who going through our provisional training program to prepare them for active membership within JLCC. In the past our provisional classes have worked with numerous agencies in Collin County including Journey of Hope, Hugs Café, Plano Families First, and more. Tamika Brunetti is a current provisional and has written about her experience during her Provisional Project with Frisco Fastpacs. Her story is below…
Most people I meet have a couple of commonalities. One of the big ones is that they consider volunteerism as a core belief. This is a commonality that is much bigger than us. Growing up, I did what my family did, volunteer. This took on many forms, from my dad volunteering to coach our sports teams from first grade through seventh grade, to my mom shuttling kids across town and making sure we were fed. My parents volunteered their time and family resources so we could further develop our social, decision-making, and leadership skills, as well as become servant leaders. I never gave my parents actions a second thought; I figured all parents did what mine did. It was a natural expectation that at least one of my parents would be at everything my brother and I would participate in, regardless of the location, and we would not go hungry.
I never really thought about whether my friends, classmates, and teammates had access to food outside of our time together in school or extracurricular activities.
That was my reality until I got older and started volunteering my time in different areas. I had not experienced this reality in Collin County until I was introduced to Frisco Fastpacs. When people think of Collin County, they automatically assume affluence, wealth, privilege, and opportunity. I’ll admit, when I first moved to the Dallas area, that was my assumption. But I now know that is not true. I have learned that there are 1,000+ plus children in Frisco ISD schools alone that are going hungry. Oftentimes, breakfast and lunches provided during the school day are the only meals these children receive. Keep in mind, school only takes place Monday through Friday, during the school year. This does not account for the time schools are closed for holidays or teacher in-service days.
So, what are the children who rely on their schools to feed them, eating Friday night through Sunday night? Your guess is as good as mine.
Frisco Fastpacs stepped up in 2013 to help by serving 32 children in one school. To date, Frisco Fastpacs supports 63 Frisco ISD schools and they are feeding 1,000+ children every week during the school year. With community and corporate support, Frisco Fastpacks delivers individual pre-packed bags that include enough food for each qualifying child to eat over the weekend at home.
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity through JLCC to serve as a volunteer and help pack bags of food at Frisco Fastpacs’ warehouse. Our group of 20 like-minded women from various corners of Collin County and very diverse backgrounds volunteered to help eradicate hunger for at least one weekend for those 1,000+ children in Frisco ISD that would otherwise go hungry. During our two-hour volunteer shift we were able to pack 900+bags of food. We worked in an assembly line and did not skip a beat! The bags contained ramen noodles, canned meat, canned vegetables, canned fruit and snacks. Each week, the contents of the bags change, as they are dependent upon donations from corporate food drives, super-markets clearing space for new inventory, and financial contributions to purchase foods to fill the gap.
I challenge anyone who reads this to coordinate a food drive in your home, neighborhood, school, job, gym, soccer game or wherever groups of people gather. No food drive is too small. If you have free time, sign-up to pack bags of food or deliver the bags of food to the schools. Make it a competition, have fun, but most importantly, spread the word.
Hunger knows no gender, no age, no nationality and certainly no circumstance.
Are you interested in joining us in making an impact in Collin County? Join us for our upcoming Prospective Member Information Session on Tuesday, May 14th. In the meantime, check out our membership information and additional upcoming Prospective Member Information Sessions!
-Tamika Brunetti, Provisional Member, 2018-19 Provisional Class