North Carolina School Librarian Raises $100,000 To Feed Students During Winter Break

North Carolina School Librarian Raises $100,000 To Feed Students During Winter Break

“It takes a village to raise a child” is an old proverb still resonating in today’s society.

With the help of an entire community, Turquoise LeJeune Parker, a 34-year-old library teacher in Durham, North Carolina, raised more than $100,000 and fed all 5,000 students at 12 different schools in the district.

This year, she set up in the gym at Lakewood Elementary and filled paper bags with bread, mac & cheese, beans, and other groceries from Costco.

“This all started with one family; one family sent me a message in 2015,” Parker told WNCT 9. “This mom said we don’t have anything at all; I don’t have anything for my kids.”


In response, Parker and her husband, Donald Parker, decided to contact everyone they knew and asked if they could help purchase or donate food for the 25 students in her class. Community member and attorney T. Greg Doucette was among the many kind hearts who started collecting donations to purchase food for Parker’s students during the holidays.

After having completed a “food raiser” for two consecutive years, Parker successfully fed even more students than expected.

“We were able to feed the whole grade level, then two grade levels, then the whole school, and then three schools, and it kept growing,” Parker said. “It’s truly mind-blowing at how fast this grows,” Parker said. “I just want to make sure my babies are OK.”

For Parker, helping to fulfill her students’ fundamental rights is very important to her. Most of her students are of color and on free or reduced lunches.

Turquoise LeJeune Parker and volunteers packing bags of food to deliver to students in her school district | Photo Courtesy: Turquoise LeJeune Parker

“It’s a basic human right. We’re not talking about raising money to buy people a vacation; this is food, a very, very basic thing,” Parker told CNN. “We need to make sure we take care of our schools because when we take care of our schools, we’re taking care of our community.”

Thank you to the Parkers and the supportive community members in North Carolina for helping to uplift and provide for our children!