Provided by Prince William County Schools
Administrators and staff at Potomac View Elementary School in Woodbridge, one of the county’s 26 Title I schools, are dedicated to the well-being of their school’s nearly 650 students. Ninety percent of Potomac View’s student population is economically disadvantaged.
It is this level of need that is behind the school’s new monthly food market. Principal Latiesa Green partnered with the Capital Area Food Bank to implement the free, school-based market for the Potomac View community.
Monthly Food Market
“The purpose of the food market is to ease the stress families feel about food,” said Green. “My hope is that families understand that we care about them. We are giving them the support they need, and they give us support with their children that we need. We are working as a team; that is the goal.”
Green credits Parent Liaison Rery Perez for getting the program off the ground this year and rallying the staff to help. Vineeth Lagouit, assistant principal at Featherstone Elementary School, brought the idea to seek a partnership with the Capital Area Food Bank to Green when she served as a Teacher on Special Assignment at Potomac View.
Green said Lagouit’s compassion for families was an inspiration to all staff.
Food deliveries may include fresh produce, canned goods, canned meat, frozen meats, rolls, boxed dry goods, and seasonings. The food is distributed the day the Food Bank truck arrives at the school. Exactly what is shipped depends on donations the Capital Area Food Bank receives.
“It’s lots of work, but everybody helps with everything, from stacking produce and cans on tables, to pre-packaging some items. The staff help unload pallets from the truck,” Perez said. “We put our hearts into it. More than 1,000 people came to the school for our last food market.”
Physical Education Teacher James Stewart provides activities for children when families come to pick up food.
Green noted that local merchants and churches help the school reach out to families during the winter season, including shopping with Santa Cops and clothing drives.