WCS launches ‘Blessings in a Backpack’
Even those who have no children in Warren Consolidated Schools can help stimulate learning among students most in need through a program called “Blessings in a Backpack.” A group of local people have launched a major effort to help feed Warren Consolidated Schools most vulnerable students on weekends during the school year. Their goal is to raise $400,000.
Blessings in a Backpack is a national program designed to provide a backpack each Friday filled with food staples sufficient to provide a student with food for breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday. Research shows that students who come to school hungry do not do as well academically as those who have sufficient nutrition.
Warren Consolidated students who qualify for free and reduced price lunches are eligible for the program. More than half of the District’s 16,000 students fall into this category.
“Some kids aren’t going to eat again until they come back to school on Monday,” said Warren Consolidated Director of Student Affairs Skip Lare. Lare helped initiate the Backpack program in 2011.
“Students who do get something to eat often suffer from a lack of food quality and quantity,” Lare added.
The food-support program is administered regionally by the Troy-based North Woodward Community Foundation. Several school districts have already started distributing food.
Warren Consolidated is in the fund-raising stages of the project. Extra Credit Union recently donated $3000 to help launch the program locally. The national support group recommends that a district have sufficient funds for two years of operations before beginning to provide food.
Warren Consolidated’s initial group of volunteers consists of retired school staff members. Lare is hoping to attract a larger cross-section of the community to help with the project. He named retirees, single people, and parents.
“The need for these kids is great,” Lare said. “They have enough to worry about with the rigors of school. Being hungry on weekends just makes learning that much more difficult.”
WCS will start with students attending a cluster of four schools: Grissom Middle School and the three elementary schools (Hatherly, Harwood, and Angus) whose students move on to Grissom after 5th grade.
Parents of students who qualify will receive a letter notifying them of the program’s availability. Participation is optional. Lare estimated that about 4,000 of the students who qualify for free and reduced price lunches will actually apply for the Backpack program. To donate or to volunteer in the Backpack program, contact Skip Lare at (586) 698-4110 or email@example.com.
Director of Student Affairs
(586) 825-2400 ext 65110
Upcoming Fundraising Events:
Warren Greatest Garage Sale
May 26 & 27
Blessing in A Backpack is now accepting donations of gently used or new items to sell.
Donations may be brought to the W.C.S. Administration Building, now until Wednesday, May 22, 2013.
VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED TO SORT, PRICE, SETUP, SELL, AND CLEAN UP.
For more information, please call Nancy Fantene
Click here to make a donation to the North Woodward Community Foundation to benefit the "WCS Blessings in a Backpack" program