United Way of Story County (UWSC) received a $1,000 donation from the youth at First United Methodist Church to be used toward the Backpack Program™. As part of the church’s 150th Anniversary celebration, they challenged the youth to earn 150 pennies through service to others and then give the money to the church to be donated to the program. Nicole Smith, Director of Christian Education, said the challenge grew and the congregation became involved until they raised the money that was donated to UWSC.
The Backpack Program™ is a Feeding America program and an initiative with the local elementary schools to help address childhood food insecurity in Story County. The program sends a backpack full of food home with kids in need over the weekend. The need for this service came to the attention of UWSC after teachers expressed that kids were not coming back to school ready to learn on Mondays until after they had their noon meal because they were too hungry to focus.
“United Way of Story County applauds First United Methodist Church for their efforts in supporting a program that has made an immediate difference in the lives of children from families with low-incomes in our community,” said Jean Kresse, president and CEO of UWSC. “They are teaching their youth to look out for their neighbor and giving them the opportunity to feel good about helping others. It’s the beauty of humanity.”
UWSC reports that each backpack costs around $3.50 to fill with food. With this donation, 285 sacks will be given to help sustain children through a weekend.
If you would like to support UWSC in helping local families struggling with food insecurity, call (515) 268-5142 or visit www.uwstory.org to make your donation.
First United Methodist Church youth present a $1,000 check to Jean Kresse (second row, left), president and CEO of UWSC, for the Backpack Program™
UWSC is a strategic leader in building countywide partnerships to identify needs and to develop, support and evaluate effective human services, especially in the areas of education, income and health, for our diverse community.