After a short summer break, our Blessings Chapter has kicked-off the school year with our first 2 weekly deliveries of food going home with our participating students in the NAFC Schools. We have 1114 students signed up at the start of school and expect that number to increase. All 10 elementary schools have students participating in the program.
This year, we have some healthy changes to our menu. Several nutritional elements that are key to brain development have increased substantially. The per menu calorie count averages 1,040 calories, protein has increased by 53%, while fiber has increased by an astounding 264%. All of this means we have better food options for our participating students.
Our new menu includes the following distributed to each child each week:
- 2 entrees (selections include — Beanee Weenee, Beef Ravioli or Low-Sodium Vegetable Soup)
- a beef stick
- 2 cereals (selections include — Frosted Mini-Wheats, Granola Clusters, Crispix Cereal, Raisin Bran)
- 2 healthy snacks (selections include — Cheese crackers, whole grain Scooby Snacks and Fruit and Grain bar)
Healthier food options bring slightly increased costs this year. Our program has benefited from having no increases in food costs since 2008. For 2017-2018, it will cost $100 per child to cover the 38 weeks of the year in the program. We are incredibly grateful that the New Albany Education Foundation has offered to defray the 2% administrative cost, which is a new expense this year that we must pay to the national Blessings in a Backpack organization.
Our goal is to raise $130,000 to $150,000 this year to cover expected food costs of the program. All funds donated to Blessings in a Backpack of Floyd County go straight to pay for food for kids at NAFC Schools! If you are able to help, please see our “How to Donate” instructions on this website.
Also, consider signing up for Kroger’s Community Rewards Program and selecting Blessings in a Backpack of Floyd County as the group you wish to support. Every time you swipe your Kroger Plus card at the check-out, Kroger will make a donation to Blessings in a Backpack! (To enroll: Visit Kroger’s website at https://www.kroger.com/account/enrollCommunityRewardsNow).
As in previous years, we will need the help of volunteers to pack the bags each week. We are fortunate to have many returning volunteers. Please contact each elementary school directly and ask for the Blessings in a Backpack coordinator at the school if you are interested in volunteering to help pack bags.
Thanks so much to everyone who continues to help us make Floyd County, Indiana a Hunger-Free Zone!