Program to feed students on weekends started at Fairview/Miss Jewell Elementary
Special to the Leader-Press
Junior Miss Five Hills Kadence Coombs served every glass of lemonade with a smile during Lemonade Day Weekend.
Despite the Texas heat and then a rainstorm with winds gusting more than 30 miles per hour blowing through, the third grader remained dedicated to her mission: raising money to ensure kids don’t go hungry on the weekends.
Three of every four students at Fairview/Miss Jewell Elementary qualify for free/reduced meal rates through Copperas Cove ISD. But, what happens to these children on weekends when the school district is not providing their meals?
Coombs, eight, raised the money at her lemonade stand to start a weekend backpack program at the school to ensure that students do have dinner Friday night and three meals on both Saturday and Sunday.
“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,” Coombs said. “That’s kind of sad. Their tummies might be growling.”
Coombs raised $326 at her lemonade stand set up in the Bush’s Chicken parking lot both Saturday and Sunday. To reward her hard work and help ensure students have food needed on weekends, Bush’s Chicken Marketing Director Kristina Wagner agreed to donate 20 percent of the restaurant’s sales from both weekend days, resulting in an additional $600 donated to Coombs to purchase food for the students.
“For our students who rely on our CCISD nutrition program for their daily meals, weekend plans become very frightening,” Wagner said. “Helping Kadence share God’s love, mercy and grace to help fellow students focus on their education and not their fears of hunger has truly been a blessing for all of us at Bush’s Chicken.”
Coombs better understood the magnitude of her project when Wagner presented her with a mock check for $600.
“When talking with Ms. Krissy at Bush’s, she almost cried because I was doing this for kids. She was crying in joy. It makes her heart feel happy,” Coombs said. “She wants to help kids have food too. So, I am kind of following in her footsteps and making her dream come true too.”
Money in hand, Coombs purchased the groceries, resulting in four cartloads of non-perishable items that had to be strategically packed so they fit into her mom’s 8-passenger vehicle.
“Mr. Russell (Jenkins) with Communities in Schools gave us a list of what to buy,” Coombs said. “We bought lots of macaroni and cheese. We filled a whole cart with just that. That was on the top of the list because kids can make it. I love mac and cheese. I can eat two bowls by myself.”
Coombs will host the 3rd Annual Lil’ Dawg & Lil’ Lady Dawg Junior Homecoming Dance on Oct. 3 to continue to provide funds for the weekend backpack program. Tickets are limited and are available on Eventbrite or through the Copperas Cove Five Hills Pageant Facebook page.
Families interested in receiving weekend meals must be receiving free/reduced meals through CCISD and should contact Jenkins at the school.