Editor's Note: This series recognizes people who make a difference in their communities. To nominate someone, call Wendy Victora at 315-4478 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SANTA ROSA BEACH —Tiffanie Shelton didn’t set out to become the permanent solution to weekend hunger for children, but somewhere along the way that’s exactly what she’s become.
Three years ago Shelton decided she wanted to give back to her community and came across a program that provides food over weekends and holidays to children qualified for free and reduced meals at school.
“It really just spoke to me,” Shelton said. “For me it was simple: There were kids at school who were hungry.”
She started with six children at Butler Elementary School and planned to continue it only for a while. Then she saw the true depth of the need. Rather than waiting for Superman to save the day, she stepped up and created Food For Thought, a nonprofit company that has enabled her to help 150 kids at three Walton County schools this year.
“I just find her to be so gracious and so humble with her mission,” said Madra Medina McDonald, who met Shelton at a yoga class.
Shelton said she hopes to expand the program in the near future so even more children can stop focusing on hunger rather than school.
“I truly believe if we help these kids to be nourished, they’re going to get a better education,” Shelton said. “Unless someone is willing to lift a child, there is no way to break a cycle.”