A new program has the goal of providing food for hungry children on weekends and school vacation days.
The Adopt-A-Backpack program is aimed to help raise money for the West Central Health District Backpack program.
The program received $1,000 Friday from Robbie Stefka of the North Platte Public Schools Foundation.
Under the program, staff members at local elementary schools will identify chronically hungry students. Bags filled with nonperishable and perishable food will be provided to them to take home on Friday afternoons, organizer Kristen Parker said. Each bag will contain two breakfast meals, two lunch or dinner meals.
The bags will be delivered to participating schools by volunteers.
The need is evident. Parker said more than 150 backpacks go out each week and there are kids on the waiting list.
“Our goal is to raise $10,000 by Dec. 31, which will provide an additional 35 backpacks per week for a year available for kids in need,” she said. “We are promoting to businesses to ‘Adopt-A-Backpack’ for a year for $288, or three backpacks for $864 or five for $1,440.
Each backpack is valued at approximately $6 per bag, per week, per child, she said.
For more information, the chairpersons are Kirsten Parker (308) 535-3672 and/or Judy Pederson (308) 532-1111 or Mandy Brandes, the Healthy Schools Healthy Kids Coordinator at the West Central District Health Department at 308-696-1201 ext 256.