|Missouri Restaurants Help Keep “Buddy Packs” Filled|
|Wednesday, 23 November 2011 17:50|
Central Missouri, November 2011— It’s a reflection of our times that up to 1 in 6 U.S. families are living today below the poverty level. Among the millions affected are school-age children.
The “Buddy Pack” is a school backpack filled with child-friendly, nutritious food that students take home for the weekend or holiday periods to supplement their meals when there’s not enough to eat at home. After the weekend, the 55,000 school children in the Central and Northeast Missouri Food Bank’s 32 county service area who qualify return their empty packs, to be refilled by Food Bank volunteers. www.midmissourirestaurantweek.com
Originated in Arkansas and now utilized by several Food Banks throughout the nation, the Buddy Pack program has proven to be a great way to keep children healthy and happy— providing a step toward making them better students.
Because you can’t learn if you’re perpetually hungry.
Like anything worthwhile, keeping this project running smoothly and uninterrupted isn’t cheap. And that’s where the restaurants of mid-Missouri come in.
For 10 days this coming January, restaurants serving a population of over 350,000 people, anchored by Columbia, home to students at the University of Missouri and 100,000 other residents, will feature their own special menus, each with a fixed price of $10-15 for lunch and $20-30 for dinner. For every special menu meal served to diners who frequent one of these establishments during this 10-day period, 10% of the amount raised will be presented to the Food Bank to help keep the Buddy Pack program alive and well.
During the 2010-11 school year, the Buddy Pack program helped feed 6,500 children each week, up from 4,200 in 2009-2010. The Food Bank anticipates adding another 2,000 children to the program over the next 12 months.
The inaugural Mid-Missouri Restaurant Week will begin Friday, January 13 and conclude Sunday, January 22, 2012. Restaurants in the Kansas City area, now planning their third Restaurant Week, raised over $55,000 in their second effort, early in 2011.