Harvesters virtual food drive

Gratitude shines in children’s notes about Harvesters’ BackSnack program

Updated: 2013-12-08T06:49:29Z

By LAURA BAUER

The Kansas City Star

Sometimes it’s hard to decipher the smushed together words or a second-grader’s penmanship.

Other times the words may be misspelled, such as “are” instead of “our.” Or “whont” rather than “won’t.”

But the writers’ sentiment, their gratitude, for getting Harvesters’ BackSnacks every Friday during the school year always comes through.

“It helps me get more food,” one 8-year-old girl wrote. “And if we did not get food then we won’t have nothing to eat.”

Before The Kansas City Star partnered with Harvesters a fourth time on the KC Challenge — a virtual food drive to raise funds for the BackSnack program — kids who get the weekly packs described what they mean to them. Dozens of elementary school children offered their thoughts in notes.

“It makes me Happy because I love the food that is in BackSnack backpack and I love the peachs,” said Benito, 9. “There so sweet.”

Harvesters has the largest BackSnack program in the Feeding America network, which consists of more than 200 food banks. Harvesters’ effort has grown from 65 BackSnacks in 2004 to roughly 19,000 this year.

In the past three drives, readers have donated nearly $700,000 to the KC Challenge. All the money goes to Harvesters’ BackSnack program, which provides low-income children with two breakfasts, two other meals and other snacks each Friday during the school year to tide them over until they go back to school Monday.

This school year, about 19,000 students in the 26-county area get the backpacks of food every Friday.

This year’s drive runs through December. If you would like to give, go to www.feedingkckids.harvesters.org. You can donate in a loved one’s name, with reader dedications published in The Star’s Christmas edition.

Children such as 9-year-old Kiley have a little something to say to those who help with the food packs.

“BackSnack means a lot to me,” she said. “And thank you for the food and care. Thaink you so much for the food. … It feels spechl to me.”

To reach Laura Bauer, call 816-234-4944 or send email to lbauer@kcstar.com.

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