With school out for summer, and even during the school year, many children struggle to get nutritious meals, but a donation from Heart of Illinois United Way to the Midwest Food Bank of Peoria is hoping to change that.
Midwest Food Bank’s Backpack program supports 40 local schools by providing non perishable food to students who qualify on Friday’s to ensure access to food over the weekend.
Heart of Illinois United Way donated $40,000 to fund this and other programs.
Gina Edwards with United Way said programs like this are vital to students success.
“When they come into school on Monday mornings if we don’t have this type of back pack program that goes home with them on the weekends they’re hungry when they go into school and that keeps them from learning and it distracts the classroom setting and so providing a meal for them they come back ready to learn and ready to succeed. ” said Gina Edwards, Vice President of Marketing for Heart of Illinois United Way.
The Midwest Food Bank of Peoria said with this new funding they will be able to serve thousands of students.
“How that’s going to impact is at least 3,000 kids every weekend are going to get a hot meal over the weekend because of the $40,000 the United Way has blessed us with.” said Monica Scheuer, Executive Director of Midwest Food Bank of Peoria
Scheuer said the money will allow them to improve the quality and consistency of the food and expand the programs they serve.