HELENA — As students, families and teachers gear up to head back to school around the Helena area, Helena Food Share is gearing up to help make sure no child goes hungry. And just like in years past, they will be doing that with Kid Packs.
The kid-friendly box aims to provide some weekend nutrition during the school year for students who might be facing hunger at home.
“There were kids at school who weren’t getting adequate information and enough food, coming to school not being able to concentrate, not being able to do their studies, not being able to do the things that kids should do,” said Helena Food Share Executive Director Bruce Day.
Made up of items like milk, oatmeal and peanut butter, students can get a little extra help from this program through their school.
“Kid Packs from the perspective of parents and students is all through the schools," said Day. "Usually it’s kids who are identified by a teacher of school administrator or counselor, someone in the school who identifies a child as really at risk, being at risk of hunger, so they’re the ones who get them started. But parents, certainly someone who knows a kid who might be at risk could contact the school and go through the teacher or counselor at the school.”
A problem that no kid in any Montana community should have to deal with, and in Helena, thanks to the volunteers and donations, no kid should.
“On average it’s been a thousand kids or more over the last several years," said Day. "When kids were out of school last year there were fewer kids served but were expecting the numbers to be back over a thousand per week each year, throughout the whole year. By the end of the year were providing more than 40,000 Kid Packs to pre-school and elementary kids in the Helena area.”