At Horizons, we partner with our families and remove the physical barriers to learning by absorbing the total cost of each student and providing transportation, supplies, and meals.
We know that our students learn best when they are well-nourished and able to focus on learning. Access to nutrient-dense meals for all youth, but particularly for the students who participate in Horizons, is critical to moving short-term and long-term outcomes that address equity in education and health—an intersection of Horizons' main values.
Research shows that poor nutrition increases stress on our physical and psychological systems, and actually can contribute to acting out. Carla Hannaford in Smart Moves: Why Learning is Not All In Your Head says that, “without sufficient water, amino acids, complex carbohydrates and sugars, and good fats, our fontal lobes do not function properly. We are unable to self talk, control our own behaviors, plan ahead, speak articulately, display integrated motor skills, or think before acting.”
In response, our Board has approved partnering with Shepherd’s Table, a community-based organization specializing in food service for unhoused populations and expanding to serving youth, to be our main meals provider for all three of our program sites in summer of 2023 to create a more equitable and high-quality program experience for our students and families.
As Manny Hidalgo, Executive Director of Shepherd's Table, describes:
Last year we provided lunch meals to Horizons as a pilot project and it was such a success that we’re tripling our efforts this year and looking into the possibility of developing a catering venture to provide meals to other nonprofits like Horizons. The profits of this social enterprise would be used to offset the costs of the 135,000 free meals we provide to people experiencing homelessness every year.
Through the newly established partnership, our three sites and 430 students will be provided with 10,750 hot lunches and 21,500 snacks.
We are looking forward to expanding our partnership with Shepherd's Table to uphold our main values and provide our students with the nutrient dense meals that they need to fuel their days and learning.Back to News Page