The NASCAR Foundation is working hard to bring hope to children and families who have been affected by the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. One such example is through our partnership with Richmond Raceway Cares and Blessings in a Backpack to provide bags of weekend food and Speediatrics Fit Kits to children in the Richmond community.
"This is so incredibly thoughtful for The NASCAR Foundation to donate fitness items with the weekend nutrition bags. The kids in Richmond will love these," said Jenny Scherer, director of program operations and area program manager, Blessings in a Backpack.
The fit kits – complete with jump rope, pedometer watch, and activity book – will help keep kids engaged in developing healthy habits while they are not in school and playing with their friends.
"Wow, this is so great," one parent explained. "The kids have been bored, and this extra activity will be helpful."
For many kids whose schools have closed, this absence not only means time away from friends and teachers in their classes and uncertainty and fear as to when and where they’ll get their next meal. The Richmond Raceway and NASCAR Foundation efforts have proven to be a shining light during the COVID-19 school closures. They provided 1,500 extra bags of food to be sent home with children, as well as national TV coverage highlighting childhood hunger during the iRacing esports series at Richmond.
"The current public health emergency has revealed how vulnerable 11 million food-insecure children are in America. The NASCAR Foundation Fit Kits provided a perfect complement to the bags of weekend food, and kids loved the extra attention this showed them," said Brooke Wiseman, CEO, Blessings in a Backpack. "We are beyond thankful for this donation, along with the funding provided by The NASCAR Foundation in partnership with Richmond Raceway to feed kids in our Central Virginia programs when schools are closed. Our longtime support from The NASCAR Foundation and Richmond Raceway is nothing short of amazing. We are grateful every day to call them partners."
The fit kits and food bags were distributed to children on the free and reduced lunch program at grab and go lunch sites that are available to students 18 or under in the Richmond, Va. area. Blessings in a Backpack has continued to support the Central Virginia region since the school closures began by shipping prepacked weekend nutrition bags to a distribution site, which is then picked up by volunteers and taken to the feeding hubs.
About Blessings in a Backpack:
Hunger has both short- and long-term negative effects on children’s health and ability to succeed in school. Blessings in a Backpack mobilizes communities, individuals, and resources to provide food on the weekends for elementary school children across America who might otherwise go hungry. Blessings in a Backpack will provide 3 million hunger-free weekends this school year for more than 87,000 kids in 46 states and Washington, D.C. Visit blessingsinabackpack.org to learn how you can end childhood hunger on the weekends in your community.