Support Backpack Buddies

Unite to Fight fundraiser is tonight at Fort Frenzy

In our affluent society, it is unacceptable for any children to be hungry or lack regular access to nutritious food. Making sure that local young folks do not experience hunger is the mission of Backpack Buddies.

The Backpack Buddies initiative supplements school breakfast and lunch programs. It supplies elementary-school-age children from low-income homes with nutrient-rich foods for consumption on weekends. It thus helps guarantee that these youngsters will not go hungry. It also is committed to ensuring that their dietary options won’t be limited to unhealthy choices.

Backpack Buddies began distributing food in 2010. The project has grown rapidly since then in response to identified community needs.

The program distributes about 97,000 pounds of food annually.

According to Terry Moehnke, program director for Backpack Buddies, elementary and middle school children show a higher rate of dependency on assistance for their school lunches. About 60 to 65 percent are eligible for the free or reduced fee structure, he said.

An important Unite to Fight fundraiser to support this key local initiative will take place tonight at Fort Frenzy, 3232 First Ave. S. It costs $25 to attend. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. A meal catered by Olde Boston’s Restaurant & Pub will be served at 6 p.m.

Unite to Fight is a combined effort between Noon Sertoma and NEW Cooperative Foundation.

Over the years Backpack Buddies has enjoyed widespread support. Noon Sertoma has played a crucial sponsoring role. In addition to backing from the NEW Cooperative Foundation, help has come from the Walmart Foundation, Valero Energy Foundation, Study Club, Junior Women’s Club, First Covenant Church, First Presbyterian Church, the Fort Dodge Community Foundation, 100+ Women Who Care and individual donors.

The Messenger has long admired and championed Backpack Buddies. It continues to deserve the strongest possible community backing. We urge readers to show their enthusiasm for this project by taking part in the Unite to Fight fundraiser.


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