Even though school is not in session, the lessons and love continue with an impactful collaboration between the Atlanta Public Schools and local nonprofit I’m a Father F1rst: The organizations are partnering to ensure families have access to nutritious chef-prepared meals. More than 500 students and family members in the Douglass and Washington High School districts have enjoyed food delivery since schools closed due to the pandemic in March.
I’m a Father F1rst was created by Keith A. Lewis Jr. and Jermaine Clarke to serve local youth and redefine fatherhood, with a focus on uplifting families and reducing the number of fatherless homes. The nonprofit had already been working with male Atlanta Public Schools students and extended its partnership to support student nutrition last month.
Mercedes Benz USA is an official partner and has donated three Mercedes Benz Sprinter vans to deliver food to families in need. In addition, T-Mobile generously donated $10,000 to the food-delivery program. In addition to these sponsors, the Atlanta Public Schools and I’m a Father F1rst are seeking additional partners and donations to support local students and families.
“A crisis, such as dealing with COVID-19 today, reveals how much you really appreciate community support and a good hot meal,” said Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Meria Carstarphen. “Partnerships like Meals of Love, with deliveries of hot, chef-prepared meals, do so much to maintain the dignity of our most vulnerable families, who are struggling to pay the bills and take care of children. We support and are humbled by the outstanding efforts of this committed partner!”
Meals of Love, which consist of hot meals prepared by chefs, are delivered Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. The average family served is six people. The partnership has more than 50 families since it launched in March, reaching more than 500 people. These students typically rely on free school breakfast and lunch during the school year.
“This school year, we’ve been going into the neighborhoods that often don’t get the services they need. This is just an extension of our work,” said Keith A. Lewis Jr, cofounder of I’m a Father F1rst. “At the same time, we are helping small businesses stay in business. It’s a win-win for our community.”
About I’m a Father F1rst
Founded in 2017 with the vision of redefining fatherhood and reducing the number of fatherless homes, I’m A Father F1rst has served more than 2,000 kids from single-family homes with free haircuts, mentorship, youth sports programs and more. The nonprofit is supported by The Black Man Lab, the Davis Bozeman Law Firm and other leaders in the business community. For more information or to make a donation, please visit https://imafatherf1rst.org/