Keith Patrick, Frenship Director of Entrepreneurship & Innovation, said that the idea for the program came to fruition in 2018. He said it started as a summer feeding initiative, but quickly grew.
“It grew over a couple of years, and as an outreach of that we built an umbrella called Tiger Bites,” Patrick said. “It’s summer, winter and weekends - all of our ancillary food programs.”
Patrick said before Tiger Bites, Frenship did not have a District supported weekend feeding program, but simply a few community partners coming together to help fill that need. As the need grew, Patrick said the District felt called to help organize those partners to create a larger-scale outreach program.
“First Baptist Church of Lubbock came to us and said they wanted to help serve,” Patrick said. “We worked out a system where the Frenship Maintenance Department goes and picks up tubs of food that FBC volunteers have packed, bring them back to the Casey Administration Office, then the office staff distribute the tubs to campuses.”
Patrick said that this helps the administrative staff get out to connect with and serve the schools. He said along with FBC Lubbock, Lakeridge Methodist Church of Lubbock and Calvary Baptist Church of Lubbock, serve Frenship students through Tiger Bites.
At the campus level, Frenship partners with Communities in Schools (CIS). CIS assists with giving students the support they need to succeed both inside and outside of the classroom. Many Frenship campuses have their own CIS advocate that is typically in charge of that individual school’s food program, helps coordinate after school programs, and assists in providing students and families with basic needs.
Breeanna Newsom is the CIS Site Coordinator at Willow Bend Elementary. She said CIS plays a big part in helping students get connected with local resources and are dedicated to making sure students and families succeed in life. She said CIS advocates have a large roll in connecting students to the Tiger Bites program.
“Tiger Bites is a program where we help provide food to children and families at risk of weekend hunger,” Newsom said. “Each bag provides enough food that a child can easily assemble into meals for the weekend.”
Newsom said the food bags contain food that is child friendly, nutritious, nonperishable, and easy to eat. She said Tiger Bites leaves a positive impact on Frenship students’ lives.
“The best part of the CIS and Frenship partnership is seeing the abundance of gratitude from families whose lives you are making a difference in,” Newsom said.