BackSnack program brings out smiles at a Northland school

The young girl wants to be a doctor. A veterinarian, too.

Basically, she’d just like to help sick people and animals.

And at age 10, she already feels like she’s helping her family.

Each Friday, the Northland fifth-grader takes home a Harvesters’ BackSnack. She looks forward to it.

That’s because one night each weekend her family uses it for a meal. Sometimes seven people surround the table.

“We all share it,” said the girl, who isn’t being identified to protect her privacy. “We all eat it, everybody. We do not let anything go to waste.”

She’s one of 40 children at Graden Elementary in Parkville who receive a pack each week. There are a couple on the waiting list.

Just last week, Graden’s social worker, Colleen Pleiss, said she could add a few students to the BackSnack list because some other children who were receiving the weekly packs had left the school. She called the newly eligible families to see if they were in need of weekly BackSnacks.

“They were ecstatic,” Pleiss said. “A lot of them mentioned it would let them get through the holidays and put less focus on groceries and be able to buy a present or two.”

Like the Graden fifth-grader, taking food home on the weekends allows kids to feel good about giving something to the people they love.

“I’m happy because you guys are helping us,” said the girl. “I think that’s good . Most people won’t help.”