Humboldt Education Foundation (HEF)

Humboldt Education Foundation is Challenging the Community to a Penny War During the Month of February… Because No Student Should Go Hungry!

The Humboldt Education Foundation’s (HEF) mission for the Hungry Kids Project (HKP) is to enable students to learn, by eliminating childhood hunger. The project was started in 2010 by retired nurse and public official, Carm Staker, because school staff were discovering that learning was being impacted because students, in the Humboldt Unified School District (HUSD), did not have access to adequate weekend meals. In 2015, when Ms. Staker founded HEF, the project became the primary focus of the Foundation. Today, over 52 percent of the children in the 10 HUSD schools are eligible for free or reduced school lunches.

Between February 20-23 our local students in all the HUSD will be challenged, by school, to a penny war. Each school will have an area for donations. Some schools get extremely competitive and have a bucket per grade for pennies, but when a bucket receives a bill that amount is subtracted from that grade’s penny collection total. “Most schools arrange for a special recognition of the highest collecting grade per school. Don’t let this detract you from stopping by your neighborhood HUSD school and dropping off a bill or check to support Hungry Kids,” said Aimee Fleming President of HEF. Last year the competition raised $4000.36 with Liberty Traditional School raising the most at $1840.13. Fleming said, “we would like to double the amount raised which would pay for about two months of food.”

Hungry Kids labor costs are currently low as the purchasing, packing and distribution of the food bags is all done by HKP volunteers. The team packs over 250 bags per week with a per bag cost of $11. HEF has also been successful writing grants and local churches generously donate on a regular basis. Monetary donations are used to purchase items through partnerships with school food and nutrition services and local grocery stores. There is a specific list of items that get packed in each bag. During the school year, students that are referred to the project are provided with 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 2 dinners each Friday. The most rewarding part of the HK project is that students have full bellies on Monday morning and are ready to learn!

How can the community help? “Last year so many residents contributed checks and change to HEF for Hungry Kids. This year we would like to challenge local businesses to collect funds for the kids,” said Vice Mayor Lori Hunt. Monetary donations and gift cards to Frys and Walmart is what is needed right now. Venmo@humboldteducationfoundation or mail donations to Hungry Kids Project, POB 25606, Prescott Valley 86312. You can join the HKP team and help pack bags on Friday mornings by calling Molly at 928.899.2639.

In addition to the Hungry Kids, HEF’s primary focus is the Teacher of the Year (TOY) event scheduled for April 18 at the Warehouse in Prescott Valley. Other Foundation projects include the Carm Staker Student Scholarship Award and classroom grants for special projects. The Humboldt Education Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and an approved State of Arizona Qualifying Charitable Organization for Arizona Tax Credit program.

For more information on HEF, to donate, become a sponsor of TOY, or if you are interested in joining the board visit the HEF website at or contact Aimee Fleming at 623.341.0496.

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