Letter to the Editor

All backpack programs are needed to feed the kids

Monday, January 15, 2018

All backpack programs needed to feed the kids

To the editor:

Numbers are just numbers. We have found, however, every number has a story. Every number has a child’s face and a family behind it. We help families who are doing their best and struggling, great-grandparents who are caring for their great-grandchildren, single parents, families who aren’t working, and children no one is worrying about. Each number, has a face, and has a different story.

We may serve the largest number of children through our “Backpack program” (290 to over 300 a week, for 6 meals) depending on the week. We serve VBE, JTE, Eastside, FPE, CCE, CC Jr/Sr High, Cradles, and NC. There are also other programs. Meridian has their own program, started 5 years ago, by Karen Phillips, funded through St. Vincent Clay Hospital, from funds through the Festival of Trees. Northview has their own program, funded by 100 Women Who Care CC. Staunton is served by Broom Tree Ministries, as is CC Head Start. All “backpack programs” are needed. We believed our community will support all, and if any falters, join in together as one, and help feed kids. We stepped out in faith in the 16/17 school year to provide food all year long, and our community made it happen.

For Christmas Break, we served every school, and every child we could get signed up, in all of Clay County, as we do in the summer.

The Numbers: We served 27,259 lunches in CC in summer 2017, 665 lunches each week day by summer’s end. Thank you all. Thank you to all who donate time and money. What keeps us up at night is summer 2018. We know the volunteer pool is small. You either must be retired, have a flexible schedule, or work in education to be able to help. The need is great. We are hoping to build a team for summer 2018, to meet the need. Join us if you can help in any way. We know if we have more volunteers, we can help go out farther in our community. We never want to start an area that we can’t continue to serve in the summer. We always tell the kids, “We will see you tomorrow.” We haven’t broken that promise yet, and do not every want to break it.

Christmas 2017: We delivered to 581 children, 226 families, in all of CC. We had over 350 volunteers join us for Christmas.

Thank you, Clay County! Our partnership with TH Catholic Charites allows us to purchase food at a reduced cost and makes every dollar go farther. We are doing the impossible. We believed our community would find hungry children unacceptable. Our faith was not misplaced.

Please contact us on FB at Clay County Youth Food Delivery Program, email us at clayyouthfoodprogram@gmail.com, or call CC YMCA at 812-442-6761, if you can help in any way or have any questions.

Thank you to The Brazil Times for helping spread the word, as do our volunteers. Join us if you can!

Terry Barr and

Clay Community Youth Food Delivery Program