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Hats off to Verde Valley School and how it uses VOC green bag donations

VVS students celebrating their hard work. (Submitted photo)

VVS students celebrating their hard work. (Submitted photo)

The VVNFP -- Verde Valley Neighborhood Food Project (Green Bag Project) -- is an important part of Verde Valley School’s commitment to world citizenship and service to others. As the local arm of our Global Goals Program, we focus primarily on reducing childhood hunger and poverty.

Each week, our students prepare Weekend Meal Packs for food insecure children at Sedona Village Learning Center, Immaculate Conception Elementary, and Oak Creek Elementary. We also serve Desert Star Community School.

We regularly hear from the administrators of these school that the meals make a huge difference for their children on many levels.

The meals lessen stress on families that struggle to put enough food on the table. Good and adequate nutrition allows children’s brains to develop to their full potential.

Student’s performance and behavior at school is improved. It is heartbreaking to realize far too many children in our schools are food-insecure. The food generously donated through the Green Bag Project makes a real difference.

Another incredible power of the Green Bag project is how it builds community on our campus, shapes our youth, and connects us with the larger community. Our students and faculty gladly fill their own green bags six times a year as the “VVS Green Bag Neighborhood.”

The students value the opportunity to go to the VVNFP collection events and work with the other volunteers. There is regularly a list of willing volunteers even though it’s on a Saturday morning and they are teens who could be sleeping in. They love the camaraderie, the conversations, the smiles, and the fun we have making a difference.

After the collection events, another group of students do the inventory of food brought in so it’s ready for their fellow student packers of the Weekend Meals. Students see and are part of the whole process and it gives them a true sense of agency to know they can positively impact others’ lives with their time and effort.

I hear often from graduates that they miss the Green Bag project and regularly packing meals. It’s often the first time students have felt deeply connected to a cause that they can sustain for years (it’s easy, it’s flexible, it’s effective) and it becomes a part of who they see themselves as. It’s the seed for creating a new generation of change makers!

VVS is truly grateful for all the Green Bag project and the community it creates and for the difference it is making for the next generation

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