ADELANTO — Stater Bros. presented the Inland Empire United Way Desert Communities Region with a check for $20,000 for the Kids Pack Program at Westside Park Elementary School in Adelanto Thursday afternoon.
Stater Bros. staff, Adelanto Unified School District employees and students all gathered together for the assembly as the supermarket chain presented the Kids Pack Program with the donation recognizing their hard work and consistent care for the children.
Through partnerships with local schools, businesses and other community groups, the Kids Pack Program provides homeless and very low-income school children with backpacks filled with nutritious foods each weekend, when school meals are not available.
According to Cari Thomas, Regional Director for Inland Empire United Way Desert Communities Region, the goal of the program is to ensure that food-insecure and hungry children have food during the weekends so they are able to engage in school and succeed.
“We know they’re getting two meals at school, but we’re not sure how much they eat at home,” Thomas said.
Thomas said every Friday before leaving school, children enrolled in the program pick up a backpack from a trusted staff member and the packs are distributed in a manner that considers the child’s privacy and self-esteem.
Each Kids Pack is filled with nutritious, non-perishable, easy-to-prepare foods that are high in protein and vitamin C, which are often lacking in the diets of low-income children. The child takes the backpack home for the weekend and then returns it to school on the following Monday.
“We do this so they come to school not quite not as hungry and being fully charged and able to participate in school," Thomas said. "That way, the kids have had something to eat and have something in their bellies when they come to school Monday."
Last year, Thomas said 42,000 Kids Pack backpacks of food were delivered to hungry kids and 1,485 children from 88 schools and six districts participated in the program. Additionally, over 95 percent of teachers reported that Kids Pack provided a needed service to their students and had a positive impact.
For more information on the Kids Pack Program, visit their website at https://ieuw.org/community-programs/kids-pack.
By Monica Solano
Posted Jan. 17, 2016 at 10:18 AM
Updated Jan 17, 2016 at 10:25 AM