Program will feed children on weekends
One hundred Hemet elementary school students will be receiving surprise gifts on Friday, April 12.
They will be the first recipients of a Salvation Army program that will provide food to select students each week to ensure that they have something to eat ov michael kors bag er the weekend.
The students, who have been identified by school administrators, receive free breakfas michael kors bag ts and lunches each school day but may not have anything to eat when school is out.
When the children leave class Friday, their backpack will be filled with a bag containing two breakfasts, two lunches and two snacks.
Salvation Army Lt. Tammy Poe said the idea for SAM Salvation Army Meal Backpack Food Program was born out of conversations with teachers who said what their students needed most was food on the weekends.
“This really is a need,” Poe said. “They told us 100 is not even a drop in the bucket.”
One dozen volunteers were at the Salvation Army’s Pearl E. Rogers Center in Hemet on Thursday morning, April 11, filling 100 bags with nonperishable oatmeal, cereal, soup, macaroni and cheese, crackers, fruit snacks and juice pouches.
The whole process took about 15 minutes. Bags were filled as they were passed down a line and tied shut.
The process will be repeated every Thursday for distribution on Fridays.
The food was purchased with donated money, including $3,000 given by a woman on New Year’s Eve. Eleven other people and groups have stepped forward to sponsor a child.
It costs about $5 per week to feed a child, or $240 per year, Poe said.
Poe and her husband, Tony, who oversee the Hemet facility, hope the program grows.
They’d like to see it involve up to 1,000 students in both the Hemet and Sa michael kors bag n Jacinto school districts after they try it on a smaller scale for the duration of the current school year.
Tony Poe said SAM has caught the eye of Salvation Army leaders, who could help it spread to other areas.
“This is going to go big time,” michael kors bag he said.
A similar program, Backpacks for Kids, was started last year in Lake Elsinore by the school district, Rotary Club, Helping Our People in Elsinore and Planet Youth.
The Poes want to expand their giving beyond the school year by offering a free summer camp where children can receive breakfast and lunch and participate in fun activities.
“We can feed these children now, but when school is out, what are they going to eat?” Tammy Poe asked.
There also are plans for a back to school rally, where students can be seen by doctors and dentists, get haircuts and receive clothes, shoes and backpacks full of school supplies.