While more organizations seem to distribute book bags, notebooks, paper, pencils and other school items to students in need, Teachers Harvest prepares to help teachers meet needs from the start of school throughout the academic year.

Teachers Harvest opened again this week.

A subsidiary operation of Second Harvest of South Georgia, Teachers Harvest allows teachers from all Title I schools in the food bank’s 30-county jurisdiction to “shop” for items they need in their classrooms.

We place quotations around the word “shop” because Teachers Harvest offers what it has for free.

In the past several years, Teachers Harvest has distributed millions of dollars in products donated by area businesses, organizations and individuals to thousands of South Georgia teachers.

With more products available and ready, with longer hours of operation, with the opportunity for teachers to visit more often for more items, Teachers Harvest is again increasing its numbers of teachers, and conversely students, helped in the region.

Frank Richards, Second Harvest of South Georgia chief executive officer, developed the Teachers Harvest idea as he watched the food bank feed hundreds of children each day through the Kids Cafe programs.

He saw food distribution as a “Band-Aid approach to hunger and poverty,” Richards said in a past interview. “... If we want to implement change and end hunger and poverty, we must better educate our kids.”

As Second Harvest fills bellies, Teachers Harvest has the potential to fill minds.

As time passes, South Georgia will hopefully reap a bountiful harvest based on this potential.

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