There is a large number of people in Missouri who are hungry and going without food. According to the Central Missouri Food Bank, Missouri is ranked seventh in the nation for food insecurity and has the highest rate of child food insecurity.
Closer to home, 17.2 percent of the 23,657 people living in Audrain County are living in poverty (2011). From those statistics, there are 1,450 children that are food insecure. That means the only meal a lot of these children may get is at lunch time in school.
“Blessings in a Bag” is hoping to fulfill a desperate need that exists in many of our towns. “Blessings in a Bag” is a non-profit group of friends and neighbors dedicated to feeding children in need.
Van-Far School Nurse Nancy Allen has been joined by many others in the local area in this effort to fight hunger. “I’m just a person who saw a need and talked to friends and neighbors and they agreed,” Allen said.
The goal is to provide low income children with a bag of food in their backpack on Friday afternoon, so that the child can have a weekend breakfast, lunch, and a nutritious snack for themselves.
Donations are encouraged as the need is great. A donation of $6.25 feeds a child for the weekend, $25 for a month, and $225 for a school year.
A cash donation is the best option, since they can buy food at cost.
If you would like to donate food, buy non-perishable food items such as peanut butter crackers, pop-top entrees (mac and cheese, beef stew, spaghetti), pop-top/cellophane individual fruits/apple sauce, pop-top canned soup, and granola bars.
Please avoid buying food stored in glass containers, perishable foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, and cookies or other items that contain a lot of sugar.
Monetary donations can be sent to: “Blessings in a Bag”, 2122 ACR 557, Vandalia, Mo., 63382. For food donations, call 594-2731 or 594-6442.
There will be a BBQ in a Bag Tailgate Fund-raiser for “Blessings in a Bag” this Friday, August 30 before the Van-Far High School Football game. The bag includes a BBQ porkburger, chips, two cookies, and a drink for $5. Take outs are available and all proceeds go to “Blessings in a Bag”.
“I am not anybody special, I am called upon by the Lord, the same as everyone to take care of each other. I think that is what we are supposed to do. One of the greatest commands God makes upon us, is to care for our brothers and sisters. Of course I like to do it and I love my kids more than anything. The people that are willing to give up their time, money, and resources are special people,” Allen emphasized.