Crisp County Community Council
The Crisp County Community Council was created as a community partnership organization to serve the needs and interests of children and families in Crisp County, Georgia. In Crisp County, one out of two children live in poverty. Food insecurity is one of the issues that put our children at risk. Providing coordination of services to expand summer feeding is important. During school, our churches join together to provide backpacks of food that are taken home every weekend, but during the summer, some of our children do not get the proper nutrition needed. This is why we have made the enhancement of our summer feeding programs a priority with the Rural Child Poverty Nutrition Center grant. With coordination of services we aim to build sustainability within the summer feeding program, increase partnerships of outreach, consolidate efforts to provide physical access, and coordinate educational efforts among local services providers. In addition, a priority is awareness and accessibility to nutrition assistance services and programs to ensure every family that is in need can benefit from programs and services that are in place.
There are barriers related to lack of transportation in order for families to take advantage of programs and services and there is a lack of knowledge concerning available programs and services. With a high rate of teen pregnancies, teen mothers lack the problem solving skills to reach out for help and are not always connected to services. Because generational poverty can impact the problem solving skills of teen mothers, there is a need for proper guidance to ensure appropriate nutritional resources for children.
The focus group revealed a priority to improve access to food by providing information related to accessibility to food and services through local service providers and programs. Providing Information concerning availability of nutrition assistance service programs in the neighborhoods of impoverished families will be helpful for children living in poverty. Parents will become more knowledgeable about those services and there will be increased coordination of service providers with events that present a collaborative approach.
During the school year, the school system provides free breakfast and lunch. For the weekend, the faith-based community provides backpacks with food. The summer feeding programs have in the past provided much needed access to food when school is out. Working parents within impoverished neighborhoods often do not have adequate childcare in the summer, leaving children to fend for themselves. Unemployed parents that are not knowledgeable about food services, or are on minimal services in comparison to the needs of the children depend upon the summer feeding programs. Lack of transportation is often a barrier to summer feeding sites. Increasing summer feeding sites for walking distance will allow all area neighborhoods to take advantage of summer feeding services. Opportunities exist to provide information about additional program and services by increasing partners involved in summer feeding. Increased partner support will also address sustainability issues identified within the summer feeding program in previous years.
Transportation is a recurring narrative for all issues impacting children and families in Crisp County. While there is a public transit system, it is not reliable. The public transit system is reactive to phone call requests on a first come first served basis. A fixed route for public transit would benefit families in children in accessing services related to the issues mentioned above.
We are currently partnering the Crisp School System. They provide FNS child nutrition programs to include School Breakfast Program, National School Lunch Program, and Summer Food Service Program. We are working with local partners affiliated with Bright from the Start, associated with Child and Adult Care Food Program. Our local Department of Family and Children Services as well as the Department of Public Health, providing other nutrition assistance is at the table with involvement. The University of Georgia Extension Service is involved as well. All partners listed have agreed to participate in the coordination of providing education and awareness at monthly events.
Targeted Nutrition Assistance Programs: SFSP, SBP, NSLP, CACFP, SNAP, WIC