Backpack Program Provides Meals - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Backpack Program Provides Meals

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A group of volunteers has stepped in to fill a need in Minot--providing meals to students who are at risk of missing them over the weekends.

The Backpack Buddies program is aiming to supply over 11,000 meals to school children during this current school year.

This is a Wednesday evening for volunteers of the Minot Backpack Buddies Program--packing two days' worth of meals into backpacks for school children to take home with them on the weekends.

The program was imitated through an effort by a Minot State University Staff Leadership Program.

With a little help from the Souris Valley United Way to help kick start the program, it was launched at Sunnyside Elementary School.

(Lynda Bertcsh, MSU Student Success Center Director)"The backpack is designed to cover six meals over the weekend. Breakfast, lunch and dinner and then a couple of snacks to tide them over."

The 50 backpacks arrive at Sunnyside every Friday morning where they are then distributed to the students.

The program has even called some Sunnyside student helpers to action.

(Shawna Vanskiver, Sunnyside Counselor)"There are usually a group of students who are knocking at my door in the office asking to deliver. A few of them actually receive the bags, but a lot of them are just students who noticed it was happening one morning, that I was passing them out, and then they wanted to help."

When the next school week rolls around the process starts all over again at Sunnyside, but it's a program that Bertcsh hopes to see expand to other schools next year--those on the receiving end are the inspiration to make that happen.

(Lynda Bertcsh, MSU Student Success Center Director)"They should be a child. They shouldn't have to worry about where their next meal is coming from. They should be thinking about getting their homework done, but also playing. And they should be kids. Unfortunately, that's not true for all of the kids in our community."

In Minot, Kelli Volk, KX News.

You can donate to the cause by going to thewelcometableminot.org

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