On the front line in the fight against hunger, KCs Center Elementary sees the difference BackSnacks make
Like many schools across the suburbs and rural areas, Center Elementary has had too many children who often dont have enough food at home. Thats one of the reasons the school became among the first in the Kansas City area to distribute Harvesters BackSnacks.
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- Harvesters dedications: In honor
In memory of the Sandy Hook fallen a contribution was made to reduce child hunger in Kansas City. - Charles Little
In this rural corner of Henry County, Mo., about 90 miles southeast of Kansas City, Vickie Thrasher is raising two of her grandchildren.
For years, they’ve worried about kids in the summer.
When Lucas Bain was 6, his mom, Elaine, took him to volunteer with her at Harvesters. Elaine has tried to teach all four of her sons the value of giving back. In the six years since, Lucas has helped pack BackSnack packs, worked Harvesters campaigns, helped make boxes for food, even sorted rice.
She knows the pressure to have things. And she knows some people judge her by what she doesnt have. Its like if you dont have what they have, youre poor, youre going to be a bum, says the 16-year-old, who goes to an area high school. She doesnt let it get to her. Shes focused on more important things: family, education, church.
The Northland kindergartner wants to be Superman when he grows up. For now, its him and his mom, and times can be financially tough. To help with that, every Friday hes one of 40 kids at Graden Elementary School in Parkville who takes home a BackSnack from Harvesters. Thats possible because of a partnership formed a few years ago.
Earlier this school year, the high school sophomore admits, she was embarrassed.
Teenagers are what this mobile food pantry at Wyandotte High School is all about. By the time children reach their teens, theyre typically not inclined to share their feelings or whats going on at home. That means teens often go without, not getting all the food they need at home, or sitting alone at lunch when they cant afford a meal.
The Star is publishing two weeks of stories that show how hunger affects children and what people are doing about it. Heres how you can help: The Star is partnering with Harvesters to host a virtual food drive. Go to feedingkckids.harvesters.org to make a donation. You can designate your donation in the honor of a family member or friend. The Star will publish the dedications on Christmas Day.
The young girl wants to be a doctor. A veterinarian, too. Basically, shed just like to help sick people and animals. And at age 10, she already feels like shes helping her family. Each Friday, the Northland fifth-grader takes home a Harvesters BackSnack. She looks forward to it.
The way Shane sees it, some kids dont always have enough food. Maybe theyve eaten everything in the house and their mom and dad arent home yet, the 11-year-old Kansas Citian says. It could be that no one has gone to the store in a while. Maybe some parents cant afford all the food their family needs.
When Lauren Gramlich turned 16 last year, she didnt ask for jewelry or cash or gift cards. She wanted peanut butter. And jelly. Lots of jars of both. By the end of her party, she had quite a haul 185 jars of the favorite staples of many kids. She donated all of it to City Union Mission in Kansas City to help provide sandwiches for people at the homeless shelter.
Most schools provide breakfast and lunch for children during the week, and on Fridays thousands of area children receive BackSnacks from Harvesters to provide food for the weekend. Each year, as money allows, the BackSnack list has grown to reach more children.
Mindi Jones was worried two months ago when she first handed out BackSnacks to kids at an elementary school in the Lees Summit district.
Darius Bryants telling a story. His story. At just 18 years old hell be 19 in January Bryant knows what its like to be hungry, to walk a couple of miles just to get a meal at a soup kitchen or church.
Some local food banks and pantries have a shelf-life problem. Theyre largely flush with fresh produce, but not so much with long-lasting canned goods.
Harvesters — The Community Food Network reaped a $50,000 donation Thursday from Farmland Foods and its recent “Bacon A Difference” campaign.
Piper Bold, 18, of Leawood, knows that some kids in this area, including Johnson County, dont always have enough food at home. And shes surrounded by family and friends who also get it. Late last month, they went to Harvesters to volunteer and present a check for the BackSnack program.