Thanks to regional community financial support, The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri is able extend the Buddy Pack program through the end of the current school year. The Buddy Pack program provides children in need with nutritious food over weekends and breaks from school.
In January, The Food Bank launched the “Adopt a Buddy” initiative asking citizens to help fund the cost of one Buddy Pack for one student for an entire calendar year. In just four weeks, donors have “adopted” more than 1,000 Buddy Pack children. The initiative was developed in order to sustain the program in light of significant increases to the cost of the program in the past six months.
In addition, The Food Bank initiated cost saving measures aimed at reducing food expenses for the remaining three months of the school year.
“We are extremely hopeful that with additional time for communities to understand the program and its value, we can have all of the current students ‘adopted’ for the fall semester,” said Kirkpatrick.
“The Food Bank is committed to feeding hungry children. However, we simply cannot do it alone. While the current funding crisis has been averted for this school year, sustaining the program is still a very real and urgent need and we need ongoing community support.”
Fifty-one percent of public school students in The Food Bank’s 32-county service area qualify for free and reduced priced meals at school – that is 56,018 students.
The Buddy Pack program provides for an average of 8,600 kids each week.
To Adopt a Buddy, send a onetime payment of $180 to The Food Bank or sign up to give $15 each month. For more information, or to Adopt a Buddy, visit www.sharefoodbringhope.org/adoptabuddy.
About The Food Bank
The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri (formerly Central Missouri Food Bank) distributes free food to 138 elementary schools through the Buddy Pack Program, a weekend food service for children; and 135 hunger-relief agencies, such as food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, etc.
The network helps to feed nearly 100,000 people per month in 32 counties in central and northeast Missouri.
To see a complete list of the agencies that receive free food from The Food Bank, visit http://sharefoodbringhope.org/agency-listing/.