(PAOLI) - A Backpacks of Blessings project now is in place to provide non-perishable food to Throop Elementary School students who live in food-deficient households.
Anyone interested in supporting the program is asked to call Sarann Weeks at (812) 723-3294 or direct a message to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Weeks will provide a brochure that explains what the effort seeks to accomplish. The brochures also are available in the school office or at the Orange County Community Foundation office.
Information provided by Weeks reports Backpacks of Blessings will address the needs of about 500 Throop students who meet federal guidelines for free and reduced-price meals. Parents of these students must opt in for their children to have food sent home with them from school.
A news release provided by an 11-member committee coordinating the effort reads, "Children are fed during the school week by federal government programs but our program wants to make sure kids are getting nutritional meals over the weekend, too.
There are several of these programs nationwide and research shows that, for schools with this program, test scores are up, visits to the school nurse are down, and positive behavior and self-confidence are boosted."
Statistics provided by the steering committee report there are more than 20 million children -- one out of four -- in the United States who are at risk of hunger. The committee pointed to a recent study by the Hoosier Hills Food Bank, which serves Orange County, and reports the same risk for one in four Indiana children.
"More importantly, Orange County has 30 percent of its children who are food insecure," the news release reports. "Having this data available helps illustrate the magnitude of this problem on a 'close to home' basis."
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