PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — South Jersey’s food bank is getting some special deliveries to feed kids’ brains. This is the story of this week’s Brotherly Love.
Larry Abrams said, “Okay, here we go, book the property.”
You would be hard-pressed to find someone as enthusiastic about books as Abrams. The Lindenwald High School teacher founded BookSmiles about five years ago.
“What we do is we collect mountains of books, and we sort them out and distribute them to the children who live in the desert of books,” Abrams said.
Abrams and volunteers collect as many children’s books as possible. In normal times, with a $10 donation, teachers could take home as many used books as they wanted for their classes.
When COVID hit, classrooms went online, but books were still here.
“I needed to think and pivot,” Abrams said. “Where can I send tons and tons of books?”
Answer: Food Bank of South Jersey. They had trucks and infrastructure to distribute books to children, especially now. In some communities, one in four children is food insecure.
“We’re going to have three loaded pallets,” Abrams said. “And they’re picking them up and they’re going to move them to the food bank and every month we transfer between three and four pallets.”
BookSmiles has donated nearly 30,000 books to the Food Bank of South Jersey since February.
“On behalf of BookSmiles, book donations mean the world to the children we serve,” said Mary Alonso of the Food Bank of South Jersey Communications and Community Impact.
“Partnering with people helps us grow and irrigate the Buk Desert,” Abrams said.
And fight hunger.
“Irrigate the food deserts, Irrigate the book deserts,” Abrams said.
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