Elementary food programs started by royalty expanded by CCISD

Special to Leader-Press 


Copperas Cove ISD has committed a portion of its Elementary And Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund grant money to expanding its food pantries to establish one on every campus after surveying parents and the community who shared that providing food for students outside the school day was one of their top five choices of how to spend the money. The Copperas Cove High School DECA Chapter already operates a program at the high school. The Miss Five Hills Scholarship Pageant expanded the program on five of the remaining 10 campuses over the last two years with plans to have it on every campus by 2023. Thanks to ESSER funds, the Blessings in a Backpack program will be implemented on each campus this school year including those founded by the Five Hills royalty. 

2019 Junior Mister Five Hills Jackson Gibbs raised money to begin the program at Copperas Cove ISD elementary schools by starting a Blessings in a Backpack program at Williams/Ledger Elementary where he attended and his mother, who is a teacher, regularly purchased food with her own money for students who went hungry outside of school hours. 

Using CCISD’s free and reduced meal percentage to determine the schools with the highest number of students in-need, 2020 Young Miss Five Hills Elise Fuselier purchased more than $2,000 in food to begin a Blessings in a Backpack Program at Hettie Halstead Elementary.

“Being a former student of Halstead Elementary, I knew that this would be a school I would want to support because the teachers were great and I really felt like I was a part of a community,” Fuselier said.

2020 Junior Miss Five Hills Kadence Coombs raised money to begin Blessings in a Backpack programs at both Fairview/Miss Jewell Elementary and Clements/Parsons Elementary.

“Children do need food for the weekend, so they won’t go hungry. I know who is providing my food, but not all kids do. That’s kind of sad,” the fourth grader said. 

2020 Little Miss Five Hills Alaya Pringle used money raised through her lemonade stand to begin a Blessings in a Backpack program at Martin Walker Elementary.

“Because of COVID19, the issues of food shortages and hunger are even worse than before,” said Kila Pringle, Alaya’s mother. “The ultimate goal is to help fight hunger.”

The program provides a meal for Friday night and three meals for both Saturday and Sunday as well as three meals a day on holiday breaks. Once in place, Communities in Schools campus site coordinators administer the program.

While CCISD Is funding the food pantries on every campus with ESSER funds, the district has allocated the majority of the funds to hiring additional teachers to combat learning loss and increasing technology.

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