In May of 2016, Weaver Foundation allocated $500,000 to be invested over a two-year period to address hunger in Guilford County. We partnered with several local nonprofits with expertise in this area and collectively began to identify existing gaps in our community around food insecurity and to seek out sustainable solutions to meet those needs. Our immediate focus has been Greater Greensboro within the Guilford County Schools (GCS) system.

Currently, we are collaborating with six pilot schools: Falkener Elementary, Foust Elementary, Hairston Middle, Hunter Elementary, Jones Elementary, and Welborn Middle in High Point.  School staff and Food Project Coordinator, Emily McCollum, are working with the pilot schools and nonprofit partners to address the hunger needs inside their individual buildings.

The activities can include expanding existing programs or testing out new, innovative solutions.  To date, we have invested $448,000 of the $500,000 originally allocated, with funds being distributed in the following way:  $182,500 to community-based organizations, $150,000 to assist GCS in coordination and capacity, and $100,500 to assist individual schools in their work.

Three Pears on a Plate, 1980
Pears on a Plate Artist: Lucy Spencer From the Weaver Foundation Art Collection

Why focus on hunger in Guilford County? The facts are staggering:

  • In Guilford County Schools, 67% of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch.
  • In NC, nearly 1 in 4 children are food insecure.
  • Students who experience food insecurity miss more days of school, have lower test scores, experience more behavior correction, and often drop out of school at significantly higher rates.
  • Greensboro has more than 17 food deserts, areas where access to food is difficult. Families must often take a bus to grocery stores and public transportation has limits on how many grocery bags can be carried. Or families spend extra money on a taxi or car service to bring food home, increasing the overall cost to their budget.

Weaver Foundation and our Food Project partners believe that by combining our knowledge and resources, we can make a significant impact on eliminating hunger’s grasp on our community.