Franklin foundation serving 3,000 children daily
Published 10:44 am Wednesday, January 9, 2013
BY ANDREW FAISON/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
FRANKLIN—Greg Scott knows the look of hunger. He sees it in the faces of kids every day.
“It’s sad to think that the meals we serve them may be the last meal they get until they come back to school the next day,” said Scott, a former Southampton High School football player turned pro, whose Franklin-based non-profit provides the meals to 3,000 youth daily.
“I thank God that I can be a source of hope to these kids,” said the founder and chief executive officer of the Cover 3 Foundation. “Being able to come back here where I grew up and help the youth of this area — words really can’t express it.”
Through C3 Kid’s Meals, children are fed during after-school programs in Southampton, Greensville and Sussex counties, and Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, Emporia and Franklin. Half of them also get free or reduce-price lunches at school.
Founded four years ago, the Cover 3 Foundation implemented the meal program in March 2010. It is done in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Health. Grants and donations, including $50,000 from the Wal-Mart Foundation in August and $3,500 from the Food Lion Charitable, help fund the program.
“Those are just a few of our most recent grants that have helped us,” Scott said. “They help so much in our goals to feed local area youth.”
A Hunterdale resident, the 33-year-old grew up in the Sedley area as the youngest of five children. He graduated from Southampton High in 1998 and went on to play football for Hampton University. The Washington Redskins drafted him in 2002.
Scott played for the Cincinnati Bengals from 2003 to 2006; a torn ACL ended his pro career while playing with the Grand Rapids Rampage of the Arena Football League in 2007.
Scott believes a great attitude, work ethic and commitment can help anyone reach his goals. It’s those beliefs that prompted him to start his foundation as a way to reach young people. The original goal was to provide football camps as a way of mentoring.
“I knew I could implement that message into my programs,” Scott said. “I knew I also had to do something when I learned more about the growing hunger problem not only in the area, but across the country period.”
Disheartened by the statistics, Scott began the C3 Kid’s Meals program to provide healthy, well-balanced, nutritious meals to feed children. To help the program, he created the Young Philanthropists, which allows high school students to participate in a work/volunteer program in the summer. Students are paid three days a week and receive community service hours to serve meals daily and assist in the daily operations of the foundation.
“This allows the students to see how a non-profit works,” he said. “Another thing is this program requires students to get their food handler’s cards, and with them they can also go work anywhere in the food service industry.”
Cover 3 continues to offer flag football camps four to five times a year. The camps are for kids ages 6 to 14 to learn the basics of the game. Some camps are free in exchange for participants donating canned goods for the meal program.
Scott continues to talk to youth and the community about the values that made him a star on the football field — the values that he says are necessary for success.
“It’s touching to speak to so many people,” he said. “Someone of importance once came and delivered a message to me, and I know you always try to take a little bit of those speeches and instill it into yourself.”
He is happy to give back to the same community that did so much for him.
“It’s fulfilling and very rewarding to be able to bend over backwards to help all of these kids and the community,” Scott said.
He couldn’t do it without his staff.
“I have an awesome staff,” Scott said. “They take pride in what they do every day. They come to work with the same attitude I do.”