By Danielle Nadler
The mission of LEF’s Fueled program is simple yet profound – ensuring every student in Loudoun County Public Schools has access to nutritional food over the weekend. Weekends are a time without school breakfasts and lunches to help fill the gaps, and it’s a time when some families in our community go without.
When it comes to quantifying the impact of programs like this, we naturally focus on the students. Just last year:
We served more than 1,000 students per week – our biggest year ever.
A total of 34,215 meal bags were donated, packed and discreetly delivered.
A total of 33 schools received weekly deliveries, in addition to 11 in-school pantries.
Imagine the difference those meals make.
A student's focus diverted from an empty stomach to an engaging science experiment. A young writer's energy is redirected from worry to creativity. A teenager's concern for the next meal is replaced with thoughts about a future college application.
That’s a huge academic boost, fueled by people who care.
We also understand that the Fueled program's impact extends to student families, who have more nutrition and hygiene products to go around. There is a community-wide benefit when some of our basic needs are met.
One area where we haven’t measured impact is on our superstar volunteers, who generously donate time to ensure that food makes it from the warehouse to our students. These volunteers not only deliver impact, but they also personally connect with the mission.
This year, the team at Apple Federal Credit Union stepped up in a major way to help support our Fueled program, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with their support.
"Apple FCU is a proud LEF partner,” Apple FCU Community Engagement Officer Katie Knight said. “Since 2022, Apple FCU employees have contributed over 80 hours volunteering at the LEF's Fueled program, and each of our team members has a personal reason why.”
Here are a few of their stories:
Apple FCU's commitment to the Fueled program underscores its dedication to serving our community beyond the realm of financial services. Their 80 hours of volunteering provide sustenance and relief to students across Loudoun County.
At LEF, we see education as the cornerstone of a thriving community, and the health and well-being of our students are integral to that goal. That's why we're thrilled to have partners like Apple FCU and we’d like to see more organizations join them in this endeavor.
Each meal bag packed is a tangible step toward equity, a symbol of our community's dedication to supporting our youth, and an investment in the potential of each student we serve. Every hour spent volunteering equates to healthier, happier students, more prepared to embrace the challenges and triumphs of learning.
Each hour is an investment not just in the present well-being of our students, but in the boundless future they represent.
LEF’s Fueled program is ready to partner with any organization or individual interested in supporting this mission. Like Apple FCU, you can contribute to a brighter future for our students and help create a more nurturing environment for learning and growth. Together, let's continue making strides toward a Loudoun County where no student worries about their next meal.
To join us in this mission, you can host snack and hygiene drives, volunteer your time to pack and drive, or donate to help defray costs. Learn more and sign up today: loudouneducationfoundation.org/fueled.
Danielle Nadler covered public education as a journalist for 15 years. Now working in the nonprofit realm, she continues to leverage the power of stories to bring about positive change. She serves as the Loudoun Education Foundation’s Executive Director.View more posts.