DES MOINES, Iowa — The Food Bank of Iowa recently received a $30,000 dollar donation from Tyson Foods that will support its BackPack program which sends food home with kids weekly all across Iowa.
“We are thrilled to be able to put this money toward more food, more nutritious food for the kids that are struggling with food insecurity issues in our community,” Food Bank of Iowa CEO Michelle Book said.
The Food Bank of Iowa provides items to more than 100 pantries in schools across the state and sends 5,400 bags of food home in backpacks every Friday.
“A lot of the kids are very proud of being able to take their pack home because they know it’s helping their family. They know it’s releasing a little bit of stress off mom and dad to be able to have that little bit of extra food in the household,” Booster Pak President Melanie Menken said.
Menken said the weekly packs of 12-14 food items really make a difference that teachers and parents can see.
“There are studies out there that show that if a kid hasn’t eaten all weekend it takes until about Wednesday for them to get enough food in their body from the school free and reduced program or lunch program to be able to actually focus and learn,” Menken said.
Book said food insecurity can also affect a person’s wellbeing later in life.
“We know that childhood hunger leads to many problems in adulthood: mental health issues, health issues, obesity, chronic disease. We want to make sure that we can take care of these kids today so they can be productive members of our society tomorrow,” Book said.
To find out how to donate or volunteer visit the Food Bank of Iowa website. If you or your child needs assistance through the BackPack contact your school.