Tamiko Lewis is an educator-turned-activist. 

In 2017, she established the Bundle of Joy Academy, a for-profit, early education pre-school and daycare, in her spare time as a college professor. She’s been teaching college reading and development skills since 2006, but she also educates are cares for over 300 tiny humans each month at her Academy.

The Challenge

Early in the Academy’s first year, Tamiko began to see a troubling pattern. Her families were initially so relieved and happy to find quality, local childcare, but as affordable as it was in comparison to others, many families still couldn’t pay. They needed childcare, but couldn’t make room in their budget for such a large monthly financial commitment. Lewis quickly realized that she needed to drastically change her model to keep her dream alive and so she decided to transform Bundle of Joy into a nonprofit. Now she never turns a family away because they can’t pay and her heart is full. 

The Solution

Ever the observant activist, she became aware of the food insecurity many of her families faced, particularly during and after the pandemic. She saw it in the lunchboxes and faces of her kids and began to see it in their families as well. But, now as a nonprofit the Academy was eligible to receive rescued food from Loaves & Fishes! Lewis realized that together, Loaves & Fishes and the Academy could support the nutrition needs of her students not only at the academy, but at home. And not just her students, but their families too.

The Result

Now, thanks to Loaves & Fishes, Lewis has healthy food to serve the students while they are in her care, and happily offers a food pantry to her families, twice a week. Since this is a free service that Loaves & Fishes provides to our partners, the Academy is able to redirect any funds she would have spent on food, to her service budget instead. Together, Bundle of Joy and Loaves & Fishes transformed her business model to a service model. 

The Academy offers healthy meals to all enrolled children (14 months to 12 years old) according to nutrition guidelines set by the US Department of Agriculture’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Many students qualify for Free or Reduced-Price Meals at school, or live in a home receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) benefits as well. Bundle of Joy also offer after-school programs, SAT tutoring and GED prep. For more information visit their website at https://www.bundleofjoyacademy.org/ 

Loaves & Fishes serves 106 other organizations like Bundle of Joy Academy delivering nearly 2.5M pounds of fresh, healthy, surplus food each year, thanks to our generous partners. Visit us online to make a gift, volunteer to be a rescue route driver, or donate surplus food from your pantry.