PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – The City of Portsmouth has designed a program to help feed local children that are at risk of going hungry during the summer time. It’s called Child Hunger Intervention with Public Safety — or CHIPS.
CHIPS formed partnerships with the Norfolk Food Bank, Portsmouth Sheriff’s Department, Portsmouth’s Police Department, and firefighter units. During Friday’s initial food distribution event, they delivered 282 food bags to children at the Southside Gardens Community Center, according to organizer Kellie Wells. They also distributed 60 watermelons and 340 lbs. of potatoes.
During the school year in Portsmouth, the Norfolk Food Bank runs a “Backpack” program that feeds nearly 500 children by distributing backpacks of food every other week. Unfortunately, during the summer many of these children go without acceptable nutrition.
This pilot program is going to help the 140 children who participate in the Backpack program while attending Brighton Elementary School. In addition to nonperishable food items, the Norfolk Food Bank is distributing fresh fruits and vegetables. Since March CHIPS has been fundraising to cover the additional cost of $2,500 for the fresh produce.
These events are scheduled to be held for the remainder of the summer break.