Kids in Need Distributors

Weekend Meals for Needy Students

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Throughout the school year, KIND delivers food to schools across Montgomery County, Maryland. Each Friday, school staff members discretely slip those items — sustenance for the weekend — into the backpacks of needy students. It’s a simple mission based on the belief one of America’s wealthiest communities must not tolerate child hunger.

How KIND Works

kind-logoKIND develops partnerships with public schools in Montgomery County, Md., working with principals and counselors to establish the program and recruit staff members who will help deliver food each week.

KIND representatives keep in touch with school staff members, to monitor inventory.

Every six weeks, KIND mobilizes its volunteer workforce to make a trip to a local store, where they purchase, and then transport, carloads full of non-perishable food to schools.

Items may include canned tuna, juiceboxes, oatmeal, breakfast bars, popcorn, raisins, crackers, soup, cereal, fruit cups, and more. (In the fall, KIND also includes a one-time supply of personal and hygiene items.)

School personnel, volunteers, and students come together to stuff the bags and prepare them to discretely drop into kids’ backpacks. No one who works with KIND knows the names of any of the kids it serves.

Kind by the Numbers

dscf7010-1There are more than 150,000 students in the Montgomery County Public Schools system. More than a third of them, 54, 455, receive Free And Reduced Meal (FARM) program meals.

  • Schools served by KIND: 22
  • Kids served by KIND: 1,425
  • Meals provided by KIND each school year:
    • 2012-2013: 50,000
    • 2013-2014: 65,000
    • 2014-2015: 80,000
    • 2015-2016: 105,000
    • 2016-2017: 120,000 (est.)
  • Paid KIND staff members: 0

How KIND Started

_mg_4195When Jeremy Lichtenstein started Kids in Need Distributors, he was its entire workforce. Working with just one elementary school, he began making trips to the grocery store and dropping off weekend food supplies for students supported by the Free And Reduced Meal (FARM) program.

Jeremy, a top national residential real estate agent and father of two, decided to act — on the belief that child hunger is intolerable. Just five years later, KIND serves 23 schools and 1,425 students. In 2015-2016 school year, KIND delivered 105,000 meals. And it’s still a volunteer operation.

Every six weeks during the school year, KIND’s volunteers — who now number almost two dozen in a fleet of nearly 25 vehicles — purchase non-perishable food items, which they immediately deliver to schools. On Fridays, teachers discretely slip food for the weekend into kids’ backpacks.

KIND needs your help, so it can serve even more kids. Your recurring monthly donation of just $9 will feed one child every weekend for a school year. And every dollar you donate goes directly to help feed kids. Please help KIND make possible more nutritious weekends.

CLICK HERE to donate by credit card.

If you would prefer to donate by check, please make it payable to Kids In Need Distributors and mail to Kids In Need Distributors, 6917 Arlington Rd, #302, Bethesda, Md. 20814.

What Schools Say About KIND

“The first Friday I started to hand out the bags, I was in my office with about five students, explaining to them what the KIND program was and why they were getting the bags in their backpacks. One of the girls got a huge smile on her face and said, ‘What a nice man Mr. Jeremy is to do this for us. How can I thank him?’ I simply replied, ‘Your smile already did.’”

 

“There are many people in the Montgomery County who are unaware that tons of children go home each weekend with barely any to no food in their pantries. What Mr. Lichtenstein and the KIND program do for these kids not only provides them with meals to appease their hunger, but it makes them feel special and that someone out there cares about them, which is a huge deal to them. I know first hand because I see their reactions each Friday when they take their food home. He truly is making a difference in these children’s lives.”

 

“It was Friday afternoon around 1:00 p.m., and I was standing in the hallway when I felt a tug on my arm. I looked down to see one of the students who is part of the KIND program at our school. ‘Am I not getting a bag today?’ she asked me. ‘Of course you are,’ I responded. She beamed from ear to ear and ran back into her classroom.”

 

“Being a part of the Kids in Need Distributors program is a gift for our school… The PTA has welcomed this program with open arms, and we have a team of middle school students working together with dedicated parents to bag the food for our students every week. This is a great community project and brings everyone together to serve our students. We feel so fortunate to be a part of this exceptional and generous program and hope to continue to build this partnership with KIND for many years to come! Again, thank you!”

Help KIND Serve More Schools

jeremy-truckKids in Need Distributors began with one truck delivering food to one school. Five years  later, KIND serves 22 schools across Montgomery County. Without a doubt, the need is great, and more schools will seek KIND‘s help in the months and years ahead. You can help KIND expand its services by contacting your local elementary or middle school and helping us develop new relationships. If you are interested in spreading the word and would like our assistance, please send an email to jlichtenstein9596@gmail.com.

Here is a list of schools KIND is currently serving:

  • A. Mario Loiderman Middle School, Silver Spring
  • Broad Acres Elementary School, Silver Spring
  • Brooke Grove Elementary School, Olney
  • Carl Sandburg Learning Center, Rockville
  • Dr. Charles Drew Elementary School, Silver Spring
  • Francis Scott Key Middle School, Silver Spring
  • Fox Chapel Elementary School, Germantown
  • Gaithersburg Elementary School, Gaithersburg
  • Georgian Forest Elementary School, Silver Spring
  • Garrett Park Elementary School, Garrett Park
  • Harmony Hills Elementary School, Silver Spring
  • Highland Elementary School, Silver Spring
  • Kemp Mill Elementary School, Silver Spring
  • Lois P. Rockwell Elementary School, Damascus
  • Parkland Middle School, Rockville
  • Rock Creek Forest Elementary School, Chevy Chase
  • Sargent Shriver Elementary School, Silver Spring
  • Sherwood Elementary School, Sandy Spring
  • South Lake Elementary School, Gaithersburg
  • Stone Gate Elementary School, Silver Spring
  • Stone Mill Elementary School, North Potomac
  • Weller Road Elementary School, Silver Spring

KIND Board Members

Jeremy Lichtenstein

lichtenstein-boardRaised in Garrett Park, Md., Jeremy graduated from Charles Woodward High School (now Tilden Middle School) just across what used to be a farm in Bethesda. Jeremy owned and operated a successful landscaping business for 20 years, before shifting to real estate, where he worked his way to becoming one of the top residential agents in the country. Jeremy has always had a soft side for children’s charities. He sponsored Jeremy’s Read-it-Club at Garrett Park Elementary School. He has been a regular donor to So Other Might Eat in Washington, D.C., and the Manna Food Center in Rockville, Md. Jeremy founded KIND in 2012, confronting head-on the fact that more than 54,000 schoolchildren in Montgomery County, Md., are served by the Free and Reduced Meals (FARM) program, knowing he needed to make a difference.

 

George Nash

nash-boardBorn in Washington, D.C., George graduated from St. John’s High School and moved on to become an alumnus of Towson University. He currently resides in Rockville, Md., and is the regional manager for Union Mortgage Group based out of Annandale, Va. Beyond being a husband and father to three, George generously donates his time, efforts, and money to multiple charities around the community. In addition to KIND’s board, George is also a board member of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rotary Club, the Abundant Life Kenya Foundation, and the Victims Rights Foundation.

 

Mark B. Epstein

epstein-boardMark is a product of Montgomery County Public Schools, having graduated from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in 1981. After serving four years in the United States Marine Corps, Mark attended and graduated from the University of Maryland in 1989. Mark has also taught in the Montgomery County Public Schools system, at Einstein High School and Julius West Middle School. He has spent the last six years working with Jeremy in residential real estate sales and is delighted to join the KIND board and help feed the students of Montgomery County.

 

Michael C. Ridgway, Esq.

ridgway-boardMike is a lifelong resident of Montgomery County. Mike graduated from Georgetown Prep in 1977. Mike has been practicing law and has been a leading figure in real estate settlements in the county over the last 28 years. He currently manages the Bethesda office for Counselors Title, LLC. Mike was a member of the Inaugural class of Leadership Montgomery (1990) and he has been active in the community, serving as the current President of the Shepherd Foundation, and having served on many Boards, including the Board of Trustees for Georgetown Preparatory School from 2003-2009, serving as the President of the CYO for the Archdiocese of Washington from 2002-2004, serving as a co-founding Director for Victory Youth Centers, Inc. from 1998-2010. Mike and his wife currently live in Chevy Chase, Md., and have three adult children.

 

Andrea Urciolo

aug-30-2014Born in Pennsylvania and raised on Long Island in New York, Andrea attended college in Connecticut. The mother of two and grandmother of four, she lived for many years in Takoma Park, Md., and currently resides with her husband, John, in Ashton. Before moving to the Washington, D.C., area, Andrea worked at the John F. Kennedy School in Berlin, Germany. In Washington, she worked at the National Geographic Society, running an international pen pal program called GeoMail. Since “retiring” Andrea works part time as a tour guide in Washington, D.C., primarily with eighth graders. She supports KIND, the Olney Theatre Organization, and Casa Guatemala, a children’s village that provides education, nutrition, and health care for children of the Rio Dulce region of Guatemala.