Cover 3 Foundation Tackles Childhood Hunger
By: Breana Whitfield
Virginia’s 11.8% food insecurity rate means that over 912,790 people do not know from where their next meal will come. (1) To make numbers specific, a study done by Feeding America.org says, out of 41,204,000 people struggling with hunger in Virginia- 12,938,000 of them are children.
In the “Hunger in America 2010” study by Feeding America, the Commonwealth of Virginia’s food banks served 42% children —11% are children 0 to 5 years old (1). While Commonwealth of Virginia’s food banks are serving families and children in need, Cover 3 Foundation has chosen to help in their headquarters’ community of Franklin, Virginia, as well as surrounding areas.
Cover 3 Foundation was founded in 2009 by Gregory Scott in an aim to help reduce the growing rate of Virginia households who are reportedly unable to feed their children properly due to a lack of money and other resources. “[Cover 3] feeds thousands of kids every day in Virginia,” explains Scott. “We feed about four thousand kids a day, and we have been doing so the last five or six years.”
The organization’s goal is to be a tool for at-risk children, while teaching and promoting healthy eating habits and nutrition education. “Cover 3 wants to make sure children have a healthy nutritious meal every day in their after-school program,” he says.
Scott is a hard-working father, husband, son, and brother who simply wanted to make an impact and do something great in his community. Doing so through his non-profit means a great deal to him.
The name “Cover 3 Foundation” is derived from a football defense. “It’s a defense I played a lot, and I had a great deal of good things happen to me while playing that defense. I scored touchdowns, had interceptions—things that don’t usually happen to a defensive lineman on the football field.”
In addition to the football connection, Scott also drew inspiration from what he considers to be three of the most important things in his life: great attitude, work ethic, and commitment. “I feel like if you cover those three things, no matter what path you chose, you will be successful,” Scott says.
Cover 3 serves after school programs, as well as summer camps and daycares where many of the children are eligible for free or reduced lunch. A little over 12,000 are enrolled in the after-school feeding program provided by Cover 3 Foundation. Scott’s message to the public is that child hunger is a real issue that needs to be tackled.
“Childhood hunger is real,” he says. “It’s not something people just talk about or see on TV commercials; it is a real issue that we’re dealing with and we’re doing all we can to fix it.” Since the start of operation in September of 2009, Cover 3 Foundation has served 2,703,595 meals and snacks to children.
“We are pushing right at the three million meals and snacks mark pretty soon, so that’s big,” says Scott proudly. “I sleep well at night knowing that we have served almost three million meals and still have a long way to go.”
One day, Cover 3 plans to expand into other states. Scott explains, “Expansion takes a lot of capital, but I do want to expand. We are working on that. That’s a strategic step we have to plan carefully, because we don’t want to expand and mess up what we already have here.”
With non-profit organizations, money is often scarce, but Scott hopes to one day expand from feeding four thousand a day to feeding ten thousand using donations from supporters and participants. Becoming a participant in the program is free, and Cover 3 also accepts monetary donations, food, or corporate contributions.
“There’s never enough money around to help these two programs keep going,” Scott explains. It takes a lot of government funding, so any donations or corporate contribution we can use toward ending child hunger is appreciated.”
To see all the ways you can help the foundation tackle childhood hunger, visit www.Cover3Foundation.org