By Charlie Boothe
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Bluefield native and member of Gov. Jim Justice’s Cabinet has been recognized for his work in helping feed children.
Dr. William White, director of the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs, was recognized for the national Summer Food Champion Award for his work with the Summer Food Service Program. (SFSP)
Gov. Jim Justice joined representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the honor.
“Dr. White is a real champion for the people,” said Justice. “His commitment to bettering West Virginia is undying and for him to be recognized today by the USDA for his work with our children in Mercer County is well deserved. Our children are our future and we must continue to nurture them and provide the best possible environment for them to grow and learn. I commend Dr. White for his outstanding work and I know he’ll continue to do great things for our kids and all West Virginians.”
In 2016, White became a first-time sponsor for the SFSP in Mercer County where 72.43 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced-priced meals.
He partnered with local teachers, a certified food handler, the community action agency, church members and the local college to provide a variety of school activities in the summer for the community, including exercise, introduction to cursive writing and a focus on math, science, reading and language arts.
As a result of White’s vision, children aged 6 to 13 received free nutritious breakfasts and lunches. Fifty-five students registered for the first year and 1,033 breakfasts and 1,045 lunches were served over the course of one month during the summer.
The SFSP is a federally-funded program that ensures children (18-years and younger) in lower-income areas continue to receive free, nutritious meals during the summer when they do not have access to the School Breakfast Program or National School Lunch Program.
The SFSP reimburses providers who serve free, healthy meals to children in low-income areas during the summer months when school is not in session.
White previously served as a member of the State Board of Education from 2010-2017. He was the founder and CEO of The Management Development Group, Inc., a multi-million dollar California corporation that specialized in organization development consulting to Fortune 100 corporations.
White was also the Executive Producer for the world-renowned video, “The Power of Diversity,” which was used during the 1990s throughout the United States for diversity training with federal, state and local governments; the private sector; and nonprofit organizations.
— Contact Charles Boothe at [email protected]