According to Bill Westerhof at Belle River Elementary School, students from low income families are coming to school hungry on Monday morning. During school they receive breakfast and lunch, but many have little or no food on the weekends.
The Friday Food For Kids program, offered in 5 area elementary schools – Algonquin, Belle River, Cleveland, Woodland and Woodrow Wilson, provides at-risk students with a backpack full of kid friendly food on Fridays. Backpacks are returned on Monday and the cycle is repeated.
Since 2012, over 200,000 pounds of food has been distributed through this program. End of year surveys indicated that the program not only increased attendance, but also performance and behavior. Students seemed more at ease throughout the school day and were less likely to hoard food in their desks. Families indicated that they depend on this food to get through the weekend.
The program is entirely dependent upon community support and your help is needed!
Food is purchased in bulk so it only costs $100 to provide one low income child with food every Friday for an entire school year. Donations of any size are being accepted.
Donations may be designated for participating schools: