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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

ST. LUKE’S BACKPACK OUTREACH PROGRAM


Did you know that 25% of children in Washington live in food-insecure households? Did you know our church community has been helping to provide meals every weekend of this school year for 25 students at Sheridan Elementary on the east side of Tacoma?



We are working with the backpack program model established by St Leo’s Food Connection, which is currently serving 470 children throughout the Tacoma school district. School counselors and principals at the schools identify children who are at greatest risk of hunger, and these students bring home six meals (easy to prepare, kid friendly) in their backpacks on Fridays. The principal at Sheridan is our own Becky Owens. Becky expresses the value of the backpack program:

"The children and their families look forward to Fridays when their food comes. We have had students on the bus jump up and state they have to go back because their family needs their food. The bus pulls over and kids run back and get it! Parents have called and said," Thank you for your help! My family is so thankful!" This was with broken English but they took the time to make the call."

Our JYC does shopping at Costco every month for the backpack food, and we have a few great volunteers who assist with stuffing Ziploc bags with food and with shopping or delivery, but we can always use more, especially to get fresh fruit or potatoes on a weekly basis. Contact Holly Hunt at 253-272-2646 if you are interested in volunteering.

We need your help! The project can always utilize money donations for food purchases or donations of the following essential items:
Cans of healthy soup and stew
Microwave ravioli, rice bowls, or macaroni and cheese
Individual serving containers of nut butter or tuna
Peanut butter sandwich crackers or other crackers

Thank you for your support of this important program!