Ben Curtis Family Foundation

Hunger exists everywhere in America. It doesn’t care if you live in an urban, suburban or rural area. On this Episode of Cleveland’s Own, The Ben Curtis Family Foundation is taking on this challenge to eradicate food insecurity in our community…

Watch The Video

Listen to the Interview

Read the Transcript

Narrator
Each month, Kaulig Giving and Fox 8 will highlight people, organizations and charities making a difference in northeast Ohio. It’s time to celebrate Cleveland’s Own.

Matt Kaulig
Hi, I’m Matt Kaulig. Hunger exists everywhere in America. Hunger does not care if you live in an urban, suburban or rural setting. Ben Curtis Family Foundation has taken on this challenge to eradicate food insecurity. Let’s get to know Ben and Candice Curtis.

Matt Kaulig
Ben, Candice, thanks for sitting down with me today. It’s great to be here. Ben, being on the PGA and golfing has presented you with a lot of opportunities in this world. But I would imagine that starting your family foundation has got to be one of the most rewarding things that has happened to you.

Ben Curtis
Well, it has been Matt. I mean, you know, we were fortunate to travel around the world and see some amazing places. And, you know, she grown up here in Kent and I grew up in central Ohio. I never imagined doing what I did. I mean, I always dreamed of it. But to actually have it happen was a dream come true. But the work that we’ve done the last seven years and here in Kent and a couple other communities has been very rewarding. And everybody says the British Open is the biggest accomplishment. I mean, to grow this to where it is today is obviously it’s taken a lot of time to get there, a lot of hard work, but it’s very rewarding.

Matt Kaulig
For the viewers that don’t know, tell us a little bit about what Ben Curtis Family Foundation is.

Ben Curtis
It’s a feeding program, where we provide food over long weekends, roughly 10 times throughout the school year. It started back in 2013. And we started with 130 bags and now we’re up to 2300 bags monthly. The bags consist of nine meals, six snacks. And as you can see here, it’s obviously easy enough for a kindergartener to make. You know, a lot of these families, they may not have stove, they may only have a microwave. So what’s in there is going to be easy enough for them to prepare for the resources that they do have. Well, we’ve been lucky working with the school district, here in Kent. That’s how it started. They kind of help us implement of where we should go and how we should do it.

Candice Curtis
When the kids are hungry, they can’t learn in the classroom. You have behavioral issues and things like that. And teachers are spending their own money supplying kids with snacks in their own room. So not only are you helping the kids, you’re helping teachers as well.

Matt Kaulig
Speak a little bit about who gets the meals.

Candice Curtis
We have a liaison at each school. We call it the Birdy Bag Liaison. It’s usually a counselor or a principal. And we just check in with them every month and they give us a number. And then the teachers put them in their lockers and no kid is turned away. So if a teacher notices that a child needs help in their classroom, then they’re just added to the list.

Matt Kaulig
Because a lot of these kids nowadays, the only time they eat right is at school. Do you give this on the weekends? Is this my understanding?

Ben Curtis
Yeah, it’s usually once a month and it’s usually long weekends, Thanksgiving, Christmas.

Matt Kaulig
Do you have plans to expand?

Ben Curtis
Yeah, we’d love to be able to work with more school districts and get the word out there because, you know, every community needs it. One out of two kids and Kent is hungry.

Candice Curtis
And Ravenna is at 74%. And then Barber is at 78%. So they actually blanket the whole district. Every kid in the district gets a free and reduced lunch.

Matt Kaulig
So how can the Fox 8 viewers get involved and how can they help?

Ben Curtis
If you go to our Web site, thebencurtisfoundation.org You can go on there. You can donate there. We also need volunteers. You know, if there’s any way you can get involved, please email us. Let us know or give us a call.

Matt Kaulig
You are truly one of Cleveland’s own, doing great things in the community and it was really great to meet you guys and keep up the great work!

Ben Curtis
Thank you.

Candice Curtis
Thanks!

Narrator
Each month, Kaulig Giving and Fox 8 will highlight people, organizations and charities making a difference in northeast Ohio. It’s time to celebrate Cleveland’s Own.

Matt Kaulig
Hi, I’m Matt Kaulig. Hunger exists everywhere in America. Hunger does not care if you live in an urban, suburban or rural setting. Ben Curtis Family Foundation has taken on this challenge to eradicate food insecurity. Let’s get to know Ben and Candice Curtis.

Matt Kaulig
Ben, Candice, thanks for sitting down with me today. It’s great to be here. Ben, being on the PGA and golfing has presented you with a lot of opportunities in this world. But I would imagine that starting your family foundation has got to be one of the most rewarding things that has happened to you.

Ben Curtis
Well, it has been Matt. I mean, you know, we were fortunate to travel around the world and see some amazing places. And, you know, she grown up here in Kent and I grew up in central Ohio. I never imagined doing what I did. I mean, I always dreamed of it. But to actually have it happen was a dream come true. But the work that we’ve done the last seven years and here in Kent and a couple other communities has been very rewarding. And everybody says the British Open is the biggest accomplishment. I mean, to grow this to where it is today is obviously it’s taken a lot of time to get there, a lot of hard work, but it’s very rewarding.

Matt Kaulig
For the viewers that don’t know, tell us a little bit about what Ben Curtis Family Foundation is.

Ben Curtis
It’s a feeding program, where we provide food over long weekends, roughly 10 times throughout the school year. It started back in 2013. And we started with 130 bags and now we’re up to 2300 bags monthly. The bags consist of nine meals, six snacks. And as you can see here, it’s obviously easy enough for a kindergartener to make. You know, a lot of these families, they may not have stove, they may only have a microwave. So what’s in there is going to be easy enough for them to prepare for the resources that they do have. Well, we’ve been lucky working with the school district, here in Kent. That’s how it started. They kind of help us implement of where we should go and how we should do it.

Candice Curtis
When the kids are hungry, they can’t learn in the classroom. You have behavioral issues and things like that. And teachers are spending their own money supplying kids with snacks in their own room. So not only are you helping the kids, you’re helping teachers as well.

Matt Kaulig
Speak a little bit about who gets the meals.

Candice Curtis
We have a liaison at each school. We call it the Birdy Bag Liaison. It’s usually a counselor or a principal. And we just check in with them every month and they give us a number. And then the teachers put them in their lockers and no kid is turned away. So if a teacher notices that a child needs help in their classroom, then they’re just added to the list.

Matt Kaulig
Because a lot of these kids nowadays, the only time they eat right is at school. Do you give this on the weekends? Is this my understanding?

Ben Curtis
Yeah, it’s usually once a month and it’s usually long weekends, Thanksgiving, Christmas.

Matt Kaulig
Do you have plans to expand?

Ben Curtis
Yeah, we’d love to be able to work with more school districts and get the word out there because, you know, every community needs it. One out of two kids and Kent is hungry.

Candice Curtis
And Ravenna is at 74%. And then Barber is at 78%. So they actually blanket the whole district. Every kid in the district gets a free and reduced lunch.

Matt Kaulig
So how can the Fox 8 viewers get involved and how can they help?

Ben Curtis
If you go to our Web site, thebencurtisfoundation.org You can go on there. You can donate there. We also need volunteers. You know, if there’s any way you can get involved, please email us. Let us know or give us a call.

Matt Kaulig
You are truly one of Cleveland’s own, doing great things in the community and it was really great to meet you guys and keep up the great work!

Ben Curtis
Thank you.

Candice Curtis
Thanks!

To learn more about how you can help, go to bencurtisfoundation.org Make it a great day!