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BackPack program helps keep children fed beyond school

By GARY MILES Executive Director Feeding America, Kentucky's Heartland

EDITOR:

Thank you to those of you who support Feeding America, Kentucky's Heartland and our BackPack Program. This program specifically targets school children who are at-risk of being hungry on the weekends when school meals are unavailable. Each child on the program discreetly receives a bag of 12-15 kid-friendly food items upon leaving school for the weekend.

Most of us cannot imagine not having ample food available in our homes, but in some households across Kentucky it is a harsh reality. The teachers and youth service center staff at the 248 schools the program currently supports tell us how much of a difference this take-home food is making in the lives of the students receiving it. The child arrives at school on Monday morning with a much improved, positive outlook toward school. They are now better prepared to study and learn instead of being solely focused on the rumblings coming from their empty stomachs.

During the 2013-14 school year, FAKH and our county coordinating agencies served approximately 5,500 students on the BackPack Program in 35 central, south central, and western Kentucky counties. Our ultimate goal for the next school year is to expand the program into all 42 counties of our service area, but our more immediate need is to raise the funds necessary to keep the current 5,500 kids on the program. We are already receiving significant grant and donor support, but are still approximately $250,000 short of reaching our goal.

If you have supported this essential program in the past, we greatly appreciate your generosity. We are now asking that you consider renewing your support for the 2014-2015 school year and, perhaps, even increasing your donation amount.

If you have not been a supporter of this program in the past, we would appreciate and encourage you to adopt a child or make a donation of any amount toward the program. For a mere $2.50 per week ($100 per school year), you can Adopt-A-BackPacker in the county of your choice for an entire school year - 40 weeks. We assure you that every dollar you contribute truly makes a difference in the life of an at-risk child in the county you designate.

Please visit our website www.feedingamericaky.org to learn more about the BackPack Program, including how to donate.

GARY MILES

Executive Director

Feeding America,

Kentucky's Heartland

Elizabethtown

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