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RBC I Around our country there is a movement to make sure that we are feeding our own children while we feed the world. It was good to find out that in Rio Blanco County the backpack for kids movement has arrived.
Thanks to Donna Day, director of Rio Blanco BOCES, for starting the Feeding Our Future Program. The program is not funded by BOCES or Meeker and Rangely School Districts. BOCES only supplies storage space for the program to operate.
In October, all the children in both Meeker and Rangely districts, preschool through seniors, were sent home with a letter about program availability. All they had to do was return the confidential information sheet and they would begin receiving a backpack at the end of the school week filled with nutritious food for the weekend.
The children in the program can return to school on Monday well-fed and ready to learn. Studies have shown that hungry children do not score as well on tests. The program currently has 35 students of all ages and dietary needs and they are expecting the program to grow.
In each backpack, Rangely students receive three breakfasts, three lunches, three drinks and four snacks. Meeker students, who have shorter weekends, receive two breakfasts, two lunches, three drinks and three snacks. When items are available, the program also includes books, gloves or toiletries.
Backpacks are used because all the children carry them and the children in the program do not stand out as they would with sacks of food. In fact, the children have been so responsible with their backpacks they haven’t lost one yet.
In order to continue the Feeding Our Future Program, program volunteers need help from county residents. They are always in need of single-serving items, such as cans of ravioli, soup, cereal bars, single-serving cereal, fruit roll-ups, snack crackers, cookies, juice boxes, ramen noodles, jerky and/or money. Monetary contributions are used to buy food for the program at a great price from the food bank. Volunteers fill the backpacks on Wednesday evenings at the Rio Blanco BOCES office in Rangely.
Anyone interested in donating or volunteering can contact BOCES at 970-675-2064.