McCook Elementary Schools participate in the Nebraska Backpack Program, sending home food-filled backpacks on Friday afternoons with students in need of food over the weekend. The program primarily targets students who qualify for their school's Free Lunch Program. Many of these students rely on their school's breakfasts and lunches for their most nutritious meals of the day. In some cases, these are their only meals of the day. These students are then faced with a food crisis over the weekend. The Backpack Program is a way to help these students and their families until students return to school on Monday.
At the present time (2017-2018 school year), McCook Elementary School receives 32 backpacks from the state and fill an additional 12 backpacks through local donations. The Backpacks are filled with items such as individual Mac and Cheese, individual Chef Boyardee, Granola Bars, Oatmeal, Shelf Milk, Applesauce, Tuna, Box Cereal, and Apple Juice. The items are purchased by volunteers and sacked in non-descript bags and sent home with the children on Friday evening.
McCook Schools are anticipating the number of additional packs to raise from 12 upwards to 20. McCook Rotary would like to sponsor 4 additional students for next school year, 2018-2019. The cost of the additional four students would calculate as 4 students x 33 weeks x $7 per pack = $924 of which $731 is being requested as a District 5630 Contribution (DDF) through this grant, with the remaining $193 as the McCook Rotary Clubs responsibility. In addition to the funds, the McCook Rotary Club will volunteer their time to shop for the food and fill the backpacks for the children to take home.
This is a very essential program for our school system. It helps to alleviate child hunger in southwest Nebraska by providing hungry children with nutritious and easy to prepare food at times when other resources are not available, such as weekends and school vacations. Children learn better and live better when taken care of and receive the proper nutrition. Rotary of McCook would like to help these children live happier and healthier lives. This grant application supports and fits within the guidelines of the Rotary Foundation Mission Statement by assisting to improve health and the support of education.
This project will begin the week of September 7, 2018 and our donation will sustain them for 33 weeks, ending the weekend of April 26, 2019.