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Souris Valley United Way looking for donations to keep Backpack Buddies going during school closure

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Food insecurity is something some families may struggle with, especially lately. Souris Valley United Way’s Backpack Buddies provides meals to more than 240 kids who may not have food over the weekend when they’re without school meals. Three organizations are working together to make sure no kid goes hungry.

“We just want people to know that the United Way locally is here for them and that’s what we’re here to do is step up and meet the emerging needs,” said Jalisa Tinnes, outreach specialist, Souris Valley United Way.

Despite school being canceled, the Souris Valley United Way in Minot is continuing its partnership with Companions for Children and Brokers 12 to make sure kids aren’t going without a meal.

Backpack Buddies delivers meals to 248 kids to make sure they have three meals a day over the weekend.

“I think a lot of families really depend on that food on the weekend, because every Friday, or Thursday, depends if they’re in school. But, they get that food, so I think a lot of families depend on having that extra food in the house,” said Sammy Herslip, realtor, Brokers 12.

Volunteers from Brokers 12 and Companions for Children are teaming up to help bag up the food and deliver it to the schools for parents to pick up.

But, they need YOUR help, too.

A trailer is parked outside of the United Way for people to drop off food donations. Mac and cheese cups, oatmeal, tuna packets and fruit cups are just some of the items they’re looking for.

The staff is trying to practice social distancing as best they can, by having only one person handing out the bags.

“We’re anticipating people leave their kids in the car and things like that, just one-on-one interaction. We’re making sure that they’ll have, all the totes will be sanitized, we’ll just make sure that they’re prepared with hand sanitizer and stuff as well,” Tinnes said.

The bags will be available Friday, March 20 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at each of the seven elementary schools in Minot.

“We just want to ensure children are being taken care of. It’s something they are used to getting over the weekend, and we want to make sure they continue to get that as well,” said Heather Cymbaluk, executive director, Companions for Children.

For more information about food donations or Backpack Buddies, click here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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