Thursday, January 10, 2008

BackPack Program Supports Children

According to statistics provided by the BackPack Program, 22% of families in Goldendale are living below the poverty level. That is 14 percentage points over the state average. Of that percentage 32% are under the age of 18 and further 39% are under the age of five. Many of these children, for various reasons, are not getting the nutrition they when not at school.

The BackPack Program is intended to give these children easy to prepare and nutritious food during the weekends. A local church stores the food and every week volunteers meet there to load up the food to be placed in the children's backpack at school. Food is discreetly placed in the childs backpack so that they are not singled out.

After the initial funding from the Washington State 4-H program to get started , several local groups have donated funding to sustain the program. The local Kiwanis Club has donated books to place in the backpacks as well. The cost to fill a backpack is about $3 or $12 per month. Food donations are accepted but need to be easy to prepare and nonperishable. If you would like to more information or wish to support the BackPack Program contact Ava Van Velsor at 509-773-5817.