KC Challenge raises $147,633 for Harvesters’ BackSnack program

For the third year in a row, donations poured in over the holidays to help feed hungry kids in the Kansas City area.

During last month’s KC Challenge virtual food drive — a partnership between Harvesters and The Star — readers donated $147,633, bringing the three-year total to $694,249. That’s enough to provide BackSnacks to 3,324 students for an entire school year.

These weekend packs of food provide children with two breakfasts, two other meals and snacks to tide them over until school on Monday. Every week, Harvesters provides roughly 17,000 BackSnacks to children in a 26-county area.

A primary goal of the KC Challenge has been to inform the community about childhood hunger and show where it exists. Last month, stories over a two-week period showed hunger through the eyes of children.

“By sharing the stories of children and families in need, (we are) educating our community about a serious problem that often is hidden from view,” said Karen Haren, president and CEO of Harvesters. “By giving nutritious food to these children, we are also building stronger families and a stronger future for our community.”

As part of the recent KC Challenge, 720 volunteers helped pack BackSnacks during three Star Sundays. Those volunteers donated 1,675 pounds of food for families in need.

On Christmas Day, The Star printed readers’ dedications to family members in whose name they made donations. For an updated list of dedications, go to