As August approaches, the start of school looms large for many Helena-area families. A few questions facing students might be: “Will I like my new teacher? Will I make new friends?” One question a child should never need to ask is: “Will I have enough to eat?”
Weekend nutrition is critical to a good week ahead for every child. Yet, too many kids in our community miss one or more meals over the weekend, and the challenges of the past two years have made things even tighter.
One parent shared this with us recently,
“My family would not have survived the pandemic if the food was not available from the school and Food Share. We needed the help and you were there to help us with this basic need.”
Not getting enough food for even one day creates challenges for young, developing bodies. Getting up and ready for school is difficult if they’ve gone to bed hungry. In the classroom, attention, focus, and attitude take a back seat to hunger – especially in a growing body.
Bryant Principal, Trish Klock, knows too well the strain for many families.
“As we navigate through this post-pandemic world, the need for food security is at an all-time high. It is so important for each child to start the school day with a full belly in order to be as focused as possible. It is also beyond necessary for all kids in our community to have access to food on the weekends as well. Thank you so much to the Helena Food Share for providing these meals for my students and students of the community. It truly does make a huge difference!”
Since 2013, Helena Food Share has worked to address this need by providing Kid Packs to students at all 19 local Pre-K, Elementary, and Middle Schools in Helena and East Helena. Providing easy-to-fix food for weekend meals or snacks, Kid Packs support nutrition for over 1,000 area children each weekend.
With rising food costs, your support to ensure that Helena area children have weekend nutrition has become even more urgent. More families in Helena have had to rely on Helena Food Share in recent months, and we expect the need for Kid Packs will also increase this fall. The food costs of items in a Kid Pack have risen from $4.34 in 2021 to $5.35 for the 2022-23 school year. Will you help meet the demand so this vital program can continue to help children in our community?
Contact Tim Joyce at Helena Food Share to learn more.