Cherokee, N.C. – Colby Taylor, a member of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, a rising senior at the Honors College at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Jones-Bowman Fellow has taken a proactive approach to address food insecurity within the Cherokee Central Schools community. Recognizing the pressing issue of food insecurity among students, he initiated efforts to establish a partnership with MANNA Foodbank alongside Jessica (Jae) Winchester, community affairs coordinator at Cherokee Central Schools, to provide essential nutritional support.
Motivated by his commitment to improving the well-being of his fellow students, Taylor worked tirelessly to develop a collaboration between Cherokee Central Schools and MANNA Foodbank. With a deep understanding of the challenges faced by students experiencing food insecurity, Colby was determined to find a viable solution.
Together with Winchester, Taylor facilitated the distribution of 450-weekend MANNA Packs (weekend backpack program), ensuring that students facing food insecurity have access to nourishing meals on weekends. Recognizing the importance of sustainable assistance, beginning July 2023 MANNA Foodbank will increase its support by delivering nine hundred Summer Packs (MANNA’s Summer feeding program) bi-weekly to Cherokee Central Schools, reaching individuals who have self-identified as experiencing food insecurity.
Both Taylor and Winchester expressed their enthusiasm for the collaboration and its potential to make a lasting impact. He remarked, “I am driven to address the issue of food insecurity among EBCI students. Through our partnership with MANNA Foodbank, we are taking concrete steps to ensure no student goes hungry, empowering them to succeed academically and beyond.”
CCS officials noted, “This partnership between Cherokee Central Schools and MANNA Foodbank highlights their collective dedication to addressing food insecurity in the Cherokee community. By providing consistent and reliable support, they strive to create an inclusive environment where every student can thrive without the burden of food insecurity.”
- Cherokee Central Schools release