Food bank, United Way teams up to fight child hunger | Families
(KFVS) - The Southeast Missouri Food Bank has teamed up with United Way’s GRACES Women’s Council to provide 47 children and their families with food every weekend.
According to SEMO Food Bank Children's Programs Manager Amanda Winschel, children at Jefferson and Clippard Elementary Schools in the Cape Girardeau School District will receive food through the BackPacks For Friday program.
During the 2011-2012 school year they are even expanding the service to Clippard Elemementary.
Winschel says any children who receive free or reduced-priced school meals are left without adequate nutrition on the weekends.
The BackPacks for Friday Program, a Feeding America initiative, is provided locally by the Southeast Missouri Food Bank. The program fills this gap and reduces child hunger by providing hungry children with a bag of nutritious food every Friday throughout the school year.
Recent records indicate that about 62-percent of children in Clippard Elementary receive a free or reduced rate lunch. With community support, this project can be quickly expanded to serve more students. "Once we heard about the Backpack program we knew it was needed in every school. We are pleased to be able reach families in the Clippard school area." said Nancy Jernigan, Executive Director of the United Way of Southeast Missouri.
"We are so appreciative and thankful for this program. We are grateful that we will be able to help the children and their families with this essential basic need," stated Robin Kralemann, Educator at Clippard Elementary. "The need is real and increasing."
Winschel says it costs $280 to provide one student with a backpack of healthy food every weekend during the school year. The key will be additional community support to enable us to help all of the hungry children throughout Southeast Missouri.
Southeast Missouri Food Bank is serving 132 children in four Cape Girardeau elementary schools and 450 children in 21 elementary schools throughout its sixteen-county service area, Winschel said.
Executive Director Karen Green said, "We are thrilled to receive this funding and be able to expand this needed service to the hungry children in the Cape Girardeau School District. We hope to one day have enough funding to provide all of the hungry children in our 16-county Southeast Missouri Food Bank service area through the BackPacks For Friday Program."
If you would like to help, donations can be sent to:
Southeast Missouri Food Bank
P. O. Box 1688
3920 Nash Road
Cape Girardeau, Mo.