Addressing Hunger in the Ypsilanti Primary School Sorority Initiative
YPSILANTI, MI – Students who attend Ypsilanti Elementary School will receive weekly meals throughout the school year through an initiative launched by the local chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
The Delta Psi Omega Chapter will launch a food distribution operation on Tuesday, February 21, and will provide weekly meals and snacks to 57 children who attend or have siblings attending Estabrook Elementary School in Ypsilanti.
Alpha Kappa Alpha is the first Greek letter sorority created and incorporated by African American college women. The Delta Psi Omega branch was founded in 1908 at Howard University, Washington, D.C., and chartered in 1948 in Ann Arbor.
Delta Psi Omega’s efforts to combat child hunger locally are part of a broader Alpha Kappa Alpha initiative to address child hunger in communities across the country and beyond through the Child Hunger Initiative’s Power Pack program.
Through the program, Alpha Kappa Alpha classes provide weekend and holiday meals to children within the local communities, said Nakisha Chani, Delta Psi Omega Chapter President. Each student will receive two breakfasts, two lunches and two snacks at the end of the week.
Food-insecure children rely heavily on the breakfast and lunch provided during the school day, Chaney said, making the initiative useful in ensuring that students eat nutritious meals over the weekend.
“When these young people are not in school and their families are experiencing food insecurity, the times they are most likely to be hungry are during weekend breaks, when they are not receiving those meals at school,” Chaney said. “We’re looking to try to bridge that gap and provide meals so they still have some sources of nutrition when they’re not in school.”
Estabrook Principal Rian Johnson is grateful to have Alpha Kappa Alpha support the students at the school.
“It was very kind and responsive to the children and some of their basic needs sincere and well organized,” Johnson said. “Our children at Estabrook matter, and you have proven AKA outreach to give back to children and families who will truly appreciate your work.”
The COVID-19 pandemic, increasing food costs and housing instability have exacerbated child hunger in the Ypsilanti community, Chaney said, adding that Alpha Kappa Alpha’s efforts to focus on Ypsilanti are part of a larger overall effort to alleviate food insecurity across the country. state and beyond.
“We recognize that (child hunger) is at the root of a number of problems that children struggle with, whether it’s their mental health, their physical health or their ability to focus in school,” Chaney said. “The organization has tasked its local chapters with initiating programs that will directly impact local youth – namely, putting food into the hands of students who have shown a need.”
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