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People Taking Action: Local school employee surprised for helping dish out food!

Nourishing Our Neighbors.jpg
Posted at 9:51 PM, Jan 26, 2021

SUFFOLK, Va. - There was a hub of activity at Booker T. Washington Elementary in Suffolk, where several volunteers were getting bags of food ready for a steady stream of families in need showing up for a drive-thru food giveaway.

Volunteers like Lakeland High School student Renazia Vinson say, "It's fun and I like giving back - it makes me feel good."

In addition to student volunteers, there were teachers and other employees from the Suffolk Public Schools system helping hand out fresh produce and pre-packaged meals to folks who, in some cases, are facing challenges putting food on the table.

Lakeland High teacher Felicia Ingram, who was helping hand out food, is aware some of the people pulling up in cars are likely families of students.

"It's definitely heartbreaking, but it's heartwarming because they know the community is here for them and they know as a teacher, they know that the teachers are here - we're rooting them on! We're here for the families," she said.

This is all a part of the "Nourishing Our Neighbors" program, an effort that's a partnership with the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore - a program in higher demand due to the economic ripple effect from COVID-19, according to Emma Inman with the Foodbank.

"Families have been impacted really now more than ever because of the pandemic. We want to make sure those children and families have the healthy nutritious food; they need to be able to thrive," Emma explained.

The backbone behind this effort is Angela Sproul. She's the school system's supervisor of nutritional services and is quick to say this is all the result of, "Nothing but teamwork, teamwork - relationships."

But she has a lot on her plate to pull this off. She coordinates the food giveaways; this is the fourth one. She's in charge of staffing, making sure they're following CDC guidelines, managing traffic flow - but it's not work for her.

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"What I love about what I do every day is that we're able to feed the kids, making the sure the kids are getting all the nutrients that they need so they can be successful in school. It just makes my heart so full! I just love this; I love what I do!" Angela said.

For those reasons, News 3 presented her with a People Taking Action award, along with a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner, Southern Bank.

Angela was very appreciative, almost to the point of tears.

She adds plans are in the works to add this program to two other schools, one each in the northern and southern areas of Suffolk.

To nominate someone for a People Taking Action Award, click here.