The Effingham chapter of Blessings in a Backpack has announced that a proclamation has been signed by Mayor Jeff Bloemker declaring September 17th to be Blessings in a Backpack Day. The town joins communities around the United States in this celebration. The Blessings in a Backpack national office reports that chapters around the country are feeding more than 76,000 children on the weekends in 44 states and the District of Columbia. Locally, the Effingham chapter serves around 350 children per week. Mayors across the country are joining forces with teams from local Blessings in a Backpack programs to pack bags full of food for children in their communities. The Effingham chapter is pleased to incorporate several events during this week to celebrate and educate.
Other events have been scheduled around the designated day as well. On September 16th, Mayor Bloemker will be joined by school principals and counselors, media representatives, community and business leaders for a special packing session and celebration at Total Quality Warehouse.
September 18th, or Funny Friday, the students will receive an extra treat in their bags, a piece of Laffy Taffy. The smiles are sponsored by Stevens Industries.
Andy Glosser, a Unit 40 teacher and School Liaison for Blessings in a Backpack, said, “Our hope and prayer for Blessings in a Backpack Day is to spread awareness about childhood hunger. While our students receive breakfast and lunch during the week, many suffer food insecurity on the weekends. For some, the last bell on Friday brings a lot of worry. We’ve received great community support to help alleviate this problem, but the work isn’t finished.”
The Blessings in a Backpack executive board wishes to show appreciation for the significant contributions the community has made to children in need. The group began in the 2013-14 school year with 130 students, and ended the 2014-15 year with more than 330 students served. This year they anticipate serving 350- 370 children in the district. This growth can only be accomplished through the tremendous support of the local community. Total Quality Warehouse lends space for packing and volunteers meet twice per month to pack food bags. Local businesses volunteer time to deliver the bags to schools. Teachers add the bags to student’s backpacks during a recess or planning period.