Food Bank Extends Buddy Pack Program
COLUMBIA - The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri will be able to sustain the buddy pack food program until the end of the academic school year.
The food bank launched the "Adopt a Buddy" initiative in January asking the community to help fund the cost of one buddy pack for one student for an entire calender year. Prior to this request, the food bank faced cutting buddy packs for students in the middle of the school year.
In the beginning of the school year, the food bank thought it would take $100 to sustain each student. Because of increase costs, they found out it would cost $180 for each student.
Just four weeks after the word got out, donors "adopted" more than 1,000 buddy pack children. This means that each donor contributed about $15 each month.
Executive Director Peggy Kirkpatrick said her faith never let her get discouraged.
"When you've been in this type of ministry for as long as I have, and I have been doing this for twenty years, I tell everyone that we stand as a testimony to the providence of God and the goodness of people," said Kirkpatrick.
Jason Hull, a volunteer at the food bank says he believes in the purpose of buddy packs.
"I was on reduced lunch when I was a kid and if I had buddy packs that would have been really great on the weekends. I am really happy we can continue to do buddy packs, I would not want to let the kids down."
In addition to donations, the food bank is initiating cost saving measures aimed at reducing food expenses for the remaining three months of the school year.
"At the end of this year, we will analyze how much we can do for next school year. As long as the good Lord and people around us support and partner with us, we're going to keep doing what are doing," said Kirkpatrick.
To Adopt a buddy or for more information, visit the Share Food Bring Hope website.