Eastland Backpack Program Kicks Off

The beginning of the brand new 2010-11 school year is also the time when the Eastland Backpack Program gears up once again for its mission of feeding hungry children in Eastland.

The Eastland Backpack Program is designed to help feed schoolchildren that might otherwise go hungry on weekends. The pilot program to help feed 30 students during the last school year was a real success story. Principal Mary Jones, along with other faculty and staff at the school, is ready to work with the volunteers of the program to launch this year’s effort.

Students, whose parents/guardians have agreed to participate in the program, will quietly receive the nondescript backpacks on Friday afternoon as they head home from school. Inside those backpacks will be kid-friendly foods such as assorted cereals, long shelf-life chocolate and white milk, juices, assorted fruit cups, animal crackers, peanut butter, trail mix snacks, various pudding cups, Vienna sausage, Beans & Franks, sunflower seeds, and fruit bars. There will be enough for the entire weekend and the menus rotate from week to week. On Monday, the students return the empty backpacks on the way to class, well-fed and ready for another week of learning.

There are families right here in Eastland that are having a hard time making ends meet during these trying economic times. Lost jobs, rising prices, and rising healthcare costs are just some of the problems that are making it more and more difficult to put enough food on the table. Every day can be tough but weekends can be worse for the students and their siblings. On weekends they are not at school to take advantage of the available meal programs. They start Monday morning weakened and unable to concentrate on their lessons, thinking only of the next chance to fill their empty stomachs.

The food and the backpacks for the program is purchased through the West Central Texas Food Bank of Abilene using donations and memorials generously given by citizens of Eastland and the surrounding area. Concerned citizens have recognized the value to the community of helping feed hungry school children. Better nutrition allows them an opportunity to be mentally and physically prepared for another week in school and helps them attain the educational goals set by the school district.

It costs approximately $180.00, or $20.00 per month, to feed each child for the school year. Your donations/memorials of any amount will be greatly appreciated. You truly can make a difference in the lives of these children. If you would like to help an hour a week, an hour a month, contact Halee Mitchell at 629-2222.

Please continue the generous support begun last year by sending a donation to:

Eastland BackPack Program
509 S. Mulberry
Eastland, Texas 76448.