Be Mighty is a campaign that connects kids and teens to meals. This week we are featuring U.S. Department of Agriculture summer meal sponsors.
Pamela Hill is the Director of the Eco Kidz Project which started in June of 2012. After Pam moved back to Little Rock from Los Angeles she wanted to learn about what was going on in the community. She was a former daycare center owner and knew she wanted to continue serving in some capacity. One day when Pam noticed a homeless man with two children, she was inspired to make an impact on kids and families in Little Rock.
“The man was living in a run-down hotel off Geyer Springs Road,” said Pam. “In our conversation, he revealed there were also other kids living in the hotel.”
Pam’s interaction with this man motivated her to learn more about food insecurity in Little Rock. Pam realized there were many kids in Little Rock without enough food to live an active, healthy life. She also learned that USDA would reimburse organizations serving meals to kids. With these two discoveries, Pam began the concept for what is now the Eco Kidz Project. Seven years later the organization serves over 1,000 meals each day to kids and teens across Little Rock. Pam says the kids get really excited about Barbeque Chicken day.
“I was at the Salvation Army when an employee approached me to thank me for what I did for him and his kids,” said Pam. “He was the man that inspired me to start the Eco Kidz Project. His kids were in school and he was working.” Pam’s face was beaming as she shared the story of crossing paths with the man that inspired her to start this project so many years ago.
The Eco Kidz Project is planning to have about 25 sites serving breakfast and lunch this summer. They have the capacity to take on two new sites. Organizations interested in becoming a meal site with the Eco Kidz Project should contact Pamela at 501-246-3197. Pam likes to meet the individuals and learn about their goals to make sure they are a good fit for the organization. After meeting and touring the new site to make sure it is a safe environment for kids and staff then the organizations enter an agreement. Eco Kidz wants to make sure the site has adequate space for the number of kids they anticipate serving. Organizations interested in becoming a site with the Eco Kidz Project should take action now. Arkansas Department of Human Services requests all information from sponsors by April 30th.