SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) -A nonprofit childcare facility that serves hundreds of families in the area got a nice boost to its fundraising efforts on Thursday. Representatives from Food Lion roared into Partners In Learning in Salisbury to meet the kids, hand out oranges, and to present a check for $125,000.
More than 360 children are on a waiting list to be part of Partners In Learning in Salisbury. The childcare organization welcomes all children, including low income and special needs. The demand is so great that the organization needs to expand, the sooner the better, so a check for $125,000 from Food Lion is more than welcome.
The money will be used to build a teaching kitchen to show children and parents the importance of nutrition.
“Those funds will go to help us design a kitchen with an observation window so that everyday children and families can watch as our cooks prepare the food,” said Norma Honeycutt, Partners In Learning Director. “Nutrition affect brain development and we all know that from a child is born until they are three years old, 85% of their brain is developed, by the time they’re 5, 90% of their brain is developed.”
Food Lion was one of the first corporate sponsors of Partners when it was found in 1996, at that time putting in the playground equipment. President Meg Ham says it’s about neighbor helping neighbor.
“These are our neighbors and for us, to be able to come out here and make this donation, but to be part of the celebration and be a part of really understanding how we are going to nourish not only children, but their families as well, it’s an incredible honor,” Ham said. “Inside Rowan County, 14.4% of people in Rowan County struggle with food insecurity and we can do something about that and this and the kitchen and the teaching and the cultivating of good nutrition and good habits can help for generations,” Ham said.
Among other things, the new facility will have space for more classrooms and allow space for a staff psychologist to practice therapy techniques for children with autism, saving travel times for parents.
“This is just going to take it that next step,” Honeycutt added.
Partners In Learning hopes to break ground on the new location in June and have the center up and running in 18 months. Partners announced plans for the new facility in 2020 after auto dealers Gerry and Brenda Wood donated land off Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue. The new center will replace the Catawba College location.
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