Kiwanis donation launches school food bank program

BACKPACK

Bay Area Food Bank child nutrition coordinator Kelli Davis, middle, accepts a donation from Crestview Kiwanis Club President Malcolm Haynes. Flanking them is Northwood Elementary School teacher Martha Barton.

BRIAN HUGHES | News Bulletin
Published: Friday, January 4, 2013 at 19:47 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Twenty lower-income Cougars at Northwood Elementary School will soon benefit from a regional weekend food program.

The Bay Area Food Bank's Backpack Program supplements free breakfasts and hot lunches provided at local schools during the week through governmental assistance, Kelli Davis, the food bank’s child nutrition coordinator, said.

“The schools identify students who may not receive enough food over the weekend at home,” Davis said. “Some families are having a rough time. Families are struggling. It’s not those elementary kids’ fault.”

The local Kiwanis Club presented nearly $2,000 to the Backpack Program to fund the effort. Bags of food are slipped into student recipients’ backpacks, hence the program’s name. Each student receives two breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks for the weekend, Davis said.

The foods — packaged so kids can easily prepare the meals themselves — include selections such as microwaveable spaghetti rings, she said. The food is purchased in bulk using donations such as the $1,820 provided by the Crestview Kiwanis Club, which will feed 20 students at $3.50 a meal.

Northwood reportedly is the first north county school to benefit from the program.

The program will be in place by the third or fourth week in January, Northwood Elementary reading resources teacher and guidance counselor Martha Barton said.



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