Kick Off For Kids began in 2011 as a quarterly food drive organized by Kavaliro. Sparked by the 60 Minutes documentary on the homeless situation in Central Florida, Kavaliro had the idea to “Fuel The Community” once a quarter by asking for specific food items, such as peanut butter & jelly, to donate to local public school food pantries and their Backpack Programs. The program benefits students who receive free or reduced lunch, or families facing financial difficulties. Each Friday backpacks are filled at the school with nutritious food to be sent home with the students, providing needful families with breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the weekend. The empty backpacks are then returned the following Monday to be refilled. Because the need is so great, often the families given a backpack will rotate each week. As the community got behind the efforts of this simple food drive a few people spearheading the effort began to brainstorm ways to make the program bigger and better to be able to support more schools. In 2013, Kick Off For Kids was born. The name of the charity stemming from the fact the annual event would be held each year on NFL Kick-Off Thursday.
Branching off from Kavaliro’s quarterly food drive and becoming it’s own 501c3 organization, Kick Off For Kids hosted it’s 1st Annual event on September 5, 2013 at Culpepper’s in Orlando, Florida. Over 200 people attended the networking event. Through table sponsorships, raffle items, a game of squares, and live auction it raised over $10,000 and 2,000 pounds of food. The proceeds were used to purchase food to support 6 local schools on a quarterly basis throughout the year.
Each year the event has grown in number of sponsors as well as donations made. With the continued support and generosity, Kick Off For Kids has grown from supporting 2 schools to currently supporting 18 schools. The need in Central Florida remains as more schools hear about our mission and reach out for assistance.
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