National program targets children at risk of hunger with healthy foods
Auburn, ME – Thanks to Procter & Gamble and its local subsidiary, Tambrands, Good Shepherd Food Bank will expand its BackPack Program into two Auburn elementary schools for the remainder of the 2011 – 2012 school year. The participating schools were chosen based on their high rates of students dependent upon free and reduced meals for proper nutrition.
Starting on Friday, March 23, 120 students at two local schools who exhibit the warnings signs of chronic hunger will begin receiving BackPacks of nutritious, easy to prepare meals and snacks to help them through the weekend. Volunteers from Tambrands will help Food Bank staff pack the bags of food to be distributed each week.
“P&G is proud to support Feeding America and the Good Shepherd Food Bank in its effort to meet the needs of students who go hungry in the Auburn community. This is aligned with P&G’s global Live, Learn and Thrive cause that aims to improve life for children in need around the world,” says Felica Coney, plant manager for Tambrands.
According to a 2011 USDA report, one in four Maine children are at risk of going hungry. According to Shannon Coffin, Program Manager at Good Shepherd Food Bank, “during the week, these children are able to participate in the National School Lunch Program. But for many of them, the beginning of the weekend means two long days without adequate access to the food their growing minds and bodies need.”
“The BackPack Program is a very simple and accessible way to prevent that. We’re able to get bags of food directly to the children in need right in their schools, in a way that is both discreet and tailored to their needs. For just $250 the Food Bank is able to sponsor a child through the BackPack Program for a full year,” says Coffin.
The BackPack Program is a national program offered through members of Feeding America, the nationwide network of food banks. Good Shepherd Food Bank partnered with the Junior League of Portland to launch a pilot program reaching 40 students at one elementary school during the 2010 school year. Already, the BackPack Program has grown nearly 10 fold, now reaching 370 students in 13 schools across Maine.
For more information about the BackPack Program, please contact Shannon Coffin at (207) 782-3554 x 1163 or email@example.com.
For information about Good Shepherd Food Bank, statistics on poverty and hunger, photos, or interview requests, please contact Clara McConnell at (207) 761-0542 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteers from Tambrands, a Procter & Gamble company, help
assemble food for the BackPack program.
About Good Shepherd Food Bank
The largest hunger relief organization in Maine, Good Shepherd Food Bank provides for those at risk of hunger by acquiring surplus and purchased food and distributing that food to more than 600 partner agencies across Maine. Since 1981, the Food Bank has partnered with individuals, businesses, and farmers to alleviate hunger and build community relationships. In 2011 the Food Bank distributed 13 million pounds of food to families in need. Phone: (207) 782-3554; Website: www.gsfb.org; Facebook: www.facebook.com/feedingmaine; Twitter: www.twitter.com/feedingmaine.
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