Foster parent partners with local restaurant chain to support foster kids
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The founder of Okutonda, a nonprofit whose mission is to create a sense of belonging within the foster community noticed some resources were lacking in the foster care system.
Katherine Russell says case workers shared that when kids are entering foster care, they can go hours or days without eating a real meal. Some caseworkers often pay out of pocket to feed kids if they can.
Russell has been a foster parent for about two years, and she says there isn’t a budget or any resources available to meet this need. This is when she decided to reach out to her local Chick-Fil-A to see if they could partner to help these kids and take a load off caseworkers.
Now, a caseworker can take a child they are transporting to the Summerville or Goose Creek Chick-Fil-A and present their ‘be our guest’ cards to get them a free meal. No questions asked.
“It’s a tangible act showing these children how much they are loved and valued on the worst night of their entire life. This is stability, this is a meal, and it just really shows them that we are a community that loves and supports them,” Russell says.
Depending on the child’s age they will be given a kid’s or adult meal and Russell says right now there’s no end date for this partnership.
“I believe last week we had two children that were able to benefit from it and the word from the caseworker, it was literally priceless,” Russell says.
Moving forward Russell hopes to expand to as many Chick-Fil-A’s as they can in the Lowcountry, and others have already shown interest.
Every Chick-Fil-A is independently owned and operated. The service is only available right now at the Summerville and Goose Creek locations.
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