Childhood hunger is often something we think of as happening somewhere else. The truth is, childhood hunger is a real issue right here in the United States and even more close to home…right here in Wisconsin. One in five children in the state are dealing with food insecurity issues in their home and many in our local communities are dealing with hunger on a daily basis. Although there are local resources available, the issue remains because many are not reaching out for the help they need.
The Burnett County Salvation Army, alongside many volunteers, continues to work toward meeting a segment of the populations hunger needs. The Burnett County Salvation Army Backpack Program is serving children living in Burnett County who are in need of extra food over the weekends during the school year. Without the Backpack Program, these children may go without any food. Each backpack contains dinner items, breakfast, a snack and of course a fruit and vegetable. These backpacks can help supplement a family who is struggling and ensures our local students are not going without this important resource.
The Hunger Coalition states, “research and conventional wisdom tell us how important proper nutrition is to children’s physical growth, mental development, and ability to concentrate and perform in school. They can suffer from physical, mental and emotional problems, sometimes experiencing permanent damage. They often struggle with disciplinary and performance issues in school, which has a lasting effect on their ability to receive a higher education, to find living-wage paying jobs, and to escape the cycle of hunger and poverty that trapped them at an early age.”
Last school year, the Salvation Army and their volunteers helped to provide over 100 backpacks each week to children in the Siren and Grantsburg School Districts. The Webster School District has its own backpack program that was serving approximately 60 families each week. Childhood hunger is a problem that we can solve if we all work together. Donations are needed to help this important resource remain available. To learn more about how you can help the Salvation Army Backpack Program, please contact 715-497-4438 or visit us on the web at www.safaithhouse.org.
Submitted by: Angela Moulton, Burnett County Salvation Army
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