Buddy Pack Gets a New Money Buddy

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COLUMBIA - The Mid-Missouri Restaurant Association gave $2,116 to The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri's Buddy Pack Program Tuesday. With costs and the need of the program rising, the donation couldn't have come at a better time.  

The association raised funds during the first Mid-Missouri Restaurant Week when ten restaurants participated from January 13th to the 22nd.  The restaurants featured special lunch and dinner menus and ten percent of those purchases went to the Buddy Pack program. 

Buddy Packs have snacks like apple sauce, canned noodles, vanilla waffers and juice cartons. Elementary school children in need take the packs home every Friday.  The program has been struggling with rising food costs along with a rise in requests for buddy packs.  It costs $180 per student for the entire school year compared to $100 last year. Food Bank's Communications Coordinator Rachel Ellersieck said the donation will help feed about 12 kids for the entire school year.  

138 schools participate in the program in Central and Northeast Missouri including 30 Boone County Elementary Schools.  The program helps about 8,600 students each week.

The Mid-Missouri Restaurant Week had a slow start but the Mid-Missouri Restaurant Association hopes to build the fundraiser and continue to donate to the Buddy Pack Program.  "This year we got the ball rolling and hopefully next year we can get more restaurants involved," said Board Member and Boone Tavern owner Richard Walls.

Click here to find out how to help feed children in need.