The Food Bank Seeks Support for Buddy Pack Initiative

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COLUMBIA - The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri wants the Callaway County community to support the new Adopt a Buddy initiative. The initiative started in January to support the Buddy Pack Program throughout central Missouri and is now focused on Callaway County. The program needs even more donations because the food costs more and more people are asking for it.

The Adopt a Buddy initiative will raise awareness about the Buddy Pack Program and how people can get involved. The program currently has 160 "adopted" in Callaway and is looking to at least reach last school year's total of 288. There is no set total of children the program can support but if there are insufficient funds for everybody asking for buddy packs, The Food Bank will allow schools to decide which children need support the most. The Food Bank needs at least 120 more volunteers to step forward and "adopt" a child to provide them with a weekly buddy pack. 

Said Executive Director Peggy Kirkpatrick, "I've been doing this for 20 years and in all those years we have never cut a program...ever. And my heart cry is that we won't start now."

One buddy pack is meant to give a child extra food during the weekend and contains roughly three-meals worth of food.  It costs $180 a year or $15 a month to provide a child with a weekly buddy pack.

Kirkpatrick added that up until now most donations come from Cole and Boone Counties and that Callaway County residents need to come forward to support their local schools, which include three in Fulton and one in South Callaway.  

Last year Missouri was ranked in 5th in nation in food insecurity for children. 56,000 children qualified for free or reduced meals but The Food Bank was only able to help 8,600 of them. 

For more information on how to donate or get involved you can visit the Buddy Pack Program's website.