1 in 6 children in the U.S. today may not know where they will get their next meal. In PA, about 17% of children lack consistent access to adequate nutrition. Our area is not immune to these statistics. Approximately 30% of our Hatboro-Horsham public school student population participates in the free and reduced-priced meal program. This on-site program provides access to meals at school. But what happens when school lets out? For some, their next meal won't be until the next school day. Learning doesn’t stop just because the school day is over.
Hunger is a Learning Barrier
Studies show that students who do not get enough to eat are less likely to perform at their full academic potential. Lower academic performance reflects poorly on our schools and poorly on our community.
ISSUES FACING FOOD INSECURE STUDENTS:
- Poor academic performance
- Behavior problems
- Feeling stigmatized
- Sick more often
- Less likely to graduate
In January of 2018 my colleagues and I launched an all-volunteer, non-profit weekend meal program called H.A.T. Packs. H.A.T. (Helping Around Town) Packs partners with public schools, community organizations, local congregations, business, and individual contributors to provide packs filled with non-perishable breakfast, lunch, snack, and beverage items to school children, and their siblings who face weekend food insecurity.
But what about after school? ...vacation days? ...summer break?
There is more we can do. That is why I’m running for School Board.
Addressing the needs of our food insecure student population will help ensure bright futures for our children and will bolster our schools academic standing. As a member of the school board my steadfast commitment will be to every Hatter student. Through collaboration with local, state and federal partners and programs we can identify and efficiently use resources to create innovative policies and effective procedures.
Together we can break down learning barriers and ensure that there's No Hatter Hungry.
Denise (DJ) Schultz and her husband, Tim, have lived in Hatboro since 2002. They have 5 kids – 14-year-old twins, Harry and Charly – 9th graders at HHHS, and Max, Kendall, and Jack - all HHHS alumni. In addition to her work with H.A.T. Packs, DJ and Tim own and operate Bright House Creative Partners, LLC. — providing photography, graphic design and creative direction to clients from the Shore to the Poconos. DJ also volunteers with the Greater Hatboro Chamber of Commerce, is on the Trustee Committee at Lehman Memorial United Methodist Church, and was an appointed member of the Hatboro 2040 Comprehensive Plan steering committee.