(CBS) — A teacher’s emotional Facebook post about children in need of food sparked a change in her community – and now, two celebrities are pitching in to help students who might otherwise go hungry. Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez have donated a year’s worth of food to Jacksboro Elementary School in Tennessee, they announced on Instagram with a video.
“We heard teachers were helping students bring home food when they didn’t have enough,” Lopez wrote on Instagram Wednesday. “When we saw this story, it brought tears not just to my eyes, but Alex’s as well!”
The power couple, along with their new meal-delivery company, Tiller & Hatch, have donated 365 days’ worth of the company’s “yummy, healthy meals, for the students and their school’s food pantry,” the singer and actress wrote.
Jacksboro Elementary started their food pantry earlier this month after a teacher’s Facebook post went viral. Brooke Goins wrote about a little boy who brought tears to her eyes when he explained he didn’t have enough food at home. The school’s guidance counselor had been providing free meals for him, but during a short school week the boy didn’t receive anything.
“He looked at me and said, ‘those little [Spaghetti Oh’s]… we don’t have those at my house, but when I do have them they give me a warm belly and help me sleep.’ I lost it, I cried in front of 20 little people. No kid should ever be hungry, ever,” Goins wrote on Facebook.
Goins said she immediately texted fellow teachers and they put their money together to buy food for the student.
“Some days we get frustrated and feel overwhelmed, but today we did what was best for a child,” she wrote, sharing a photo of the shopping cart full of cereal, soup, cookies and other kid-friendly snacks they bought. “Will it show on a test score? Nope! Do we care? Nope!”
The post was shared more than 40,000 times and Goins added an update, saying the school decided to start a free pantry and they were looking for donations. The story sparked a solution for hungry students – and then lead to a big donation from Lopez and Rodriguez.
The couple FaceTimed Goins’s class and explained to them that the teacher’s Faceook post made them cry. “You know, my mom was a teacher, and it was such a moving story to us that we wanted to help,” Lopez said. The students then got to unload boxes of food Tiller & Hatch sent the school for their pantry.
In her post, Lopez further explained why using her business this way was important to her and Rodriguez. “This is why being a business owner, and having actual ownership in companies (not licensing), is so important to me and Alex, especially as Latinos,” she wrote. “It’s about showing our community, this is what life can be. You can take charge and take ownership. It allows us to have a say in creating things that make people’s lives better and have partners that share our passion for giving back. Because giving back and being there for others is really what matters most.”