Blessings in a Backpack Aims to Feed Even More Kids Than Last Year
Around 15 million American children live in poverty.
The Father Fred Foundation in Traverse City has provided meals for dozens of students over the years, but this year their goal is to boost that number to 70 students.
“We had this one note from this little boy that said ‘thank you cuz sometimes when I’m at my dad’s house I don’t have enough food,’” Father Fred Foundation Marketing Director, Elaine Keaton.
A sad reality Blessings in a Backpack is trying to change for the local children who may be out of options.
"It’s not something the kids have any control over, ya know, they’re little kids they go to school they don’t have jobs and they’re not in control of what ends up on the table every night," said Blessings in a Backpack volunteer Bart Ford.
Volunteers move down the line to pack things like granola bars, peanut butter and fresh fruit. They pack up to 250 of these bags every hour.
Not only is the bagged food backed by a tremendous cause, Bart says the process puts life in perspective.
“When you take that rest break for an hour a week of the daily grind, you get around your peers and all of it melts away,” Bart said. “You don’t really think about all the stuff that isn’t important — you’re hanging out with your coworkers doing something that’s super impactful and it feels good ya know.”
Elaine said it’s dedicated volunteers like Bart that keep this program alive.
“It’s a legacy of generosity all these volunteers and the people that support us,” Elaine said.
The money for this food has to come from somewhere, though.
Monday teed off fundraising season.
Coldwell Banker hosted a golf outing with a big goal in mind — $10,080 dollars.
“It makes you wanna cry every day but it makes you pretty happy when you’re just trying to make a difference,” Bart said. “It’s a great program.”
Coming up with more than ten thousand dollars by September 10th may seem like a lot of money.
But – let’s break that down.
The cost of feeding one child on the weekends for a whole school year is $144.
That’s $12 a month, or, less than 50 cents per day.
For more information about how to donate or volunteer, click here.