O’Quinn Insurance and Provision Packs work together in Volusia County, Florida, to close the child hunger gap. They reached their goal of 500 votes and doubled their donation to reach $10,000!
Imagine trying to learn a new math concept or read a book when all you can think about is how hungry you are. This is the reality for millions of children across America who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. School lunch programs help alleviate hunger during school hours – but what about weekends and extended school breaks?
That’s where Provision Packs comes in, closing the childhood hunger gap in Volusia County, Florida, since 2015. With the help of community donors and volunteers, Provision Packs distributes approximately 17,000 meals to 550 elementary school children every week.
“We want to give back to the community that has given so much to us.”
– Andrew Van der Brugt, principal and manager at O’Quinn Insurance
Impacting the community directly
For the O’Quinn Insurance team, working alongside Provision Packs is another great way they can give back to their community. “Provision Packs is local to all of our staff and clients,” said Andrew Van der Burgt, principal and manager at O’Quinn Insurance. “We want to give back to the community that has given so much to us.”
O’Quinn Insurance employees volunteer weekly to help fill the packs and distribute them to schools. They also participate in Provision Packs’ four major fundraisers throughout the year, setting up a community tent with a food or beverage giveaway and information about the agency.
A need that keeps on growing
The pandemic’s impact on the hunger gap was huge, making Provision Packs even more important in these children’s lives. As the service industry shut down, many parents in Volusia County were left without a stable income and school closures made childcare and meals even harder to come by.
“O’Quinn Insurance has been a true partner in helping close the hunger gap in our community.”
– Carrie Torres, founder of Provision Packs
Provision Packs quickly pivoted and organized a pick-up program at local schools so families could still get the meals they needed while children learned from home. “It’s up to all of us to make sure children have what they need to thrive,” said Provision Packs Founder Carrie Torres. “O’Quinn Insurance understands this responsibility and has been a true partner in helping close the hunger gap in our community.”
If awarded $10,000, Provision Packs would designate the money toward its fresh fruit and vegetable fund. The fund supplies each child with a fresh fruit or vegetable, introducing some children to these nutritious foods for the very first time. “Childhood hunger feels big,” said Torres. “But together we can fight it … one pack at a time.”