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Mother’s Day Feature: Celebrating Mighty Moms

Thursday May 9, 2024

In 2010, Beth McCormick and Dawn Birdsong met for their regular prayer meeting with a group of friends where they were confronted with a major issue in their community – food insecurity. One of the women in attendance asked the group to pray for the children in her neighborhood because she didn’t have enough to feed them.

Dawn and Beth, close neighbors, drove through the area to witness the need firsthand.

“We saw those children that didn’t have enough to eat and started feeding them,” recalled Dawn, Co-founder, and Executive Director of Mighty Moms, “pulling a wagon and talking to influential friends.”

“In the beginning, we just wanted to be community helping community,” said Beth McCormick, Co-founder, and Chief Operating Officer of Mighty Moms. “We started attacking a little bit at a time by focusing on the need that was before us. We partnered with the school system because it was the quickest way to serve as many children as possible.”

“We know that kids cannot learn when they are hungry, and we can help,” said Dawn. “All of us locking arms together, we can help whether that means everyone brings us a can of ravioli every time they go to the grocery store or even donating a refrigerated van. That is our focus.”

Mighty Moms began addressing the issue of hunger by partnering with schools in Livingston Parish for the Full Tummy Project, providing weekend food bags to students who depend on school-provided meals. In middle and high school, students have access to a Full Tummy Pantry, a closet stocked monthly with full-sized foods.

“We now service every school in Livingston Parish. 850 children a week are fed through the Full Tummy Project or Pantry,” stated Beth. “We’ve started new programs as well. We now have ‘Feeding Young Minds,’ where we send students from 5th through 12th grade home with a meal kit containing the necessary ingredients to cook 4 meals.”

Mighty Moms provides Feeding Young Minds recipients with YouTube videos explaining how to prepare the meal with the provided ingredients.

“Feeding Young Minds is focused on trying to get the family back engaged around food by giving them simple recipes and giving them the food to make it,” said Beth.

“Go Fresh is our newest program that we are about to launch,” said Dawn. “We know that children who live in food deserts don’t have access to fresh produce and dairy, so we want to provide them with those things. We know if they are never introduced to it, they are not going to want to try it. Our goal is to introduce them to these new foods. The Joe Burrow Foundation recently donated a refrigerated van, and we are excited for the opportunity that it gives us to bring fresh food into those food deserts in Livingston Parish.”

After 14 years of operating and growth, Mighty Moms has impacted many families and children.

“A guidance counselor told us in the beginning that there was a call from Child Protective Services for these children that were in a home and when the police got to the house, the only food in the house was full tummy bags that the children received from school,” said Beth.

“That little bag had such a huge impact on the children in this family. That was one of the first testimonials that we heard that showed us we are making a difference. Even if we just made a difference for that one family for the entire school year, it was well worth every bit of effort that we put into it. We want these children to feel loved by Mighty Moms.”

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