Adopt a Buddy plan starts in Callaway

The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri is seeking 180 volunteer contributors for a new Adopt a Buddy initiative to support the Buddy Pack program that serves needy Callaway County youngsters.

John Wampler, regional food bank coordinator, said the food bank is seeking volunteers who will donate the cost of one Buddy Pack for one child for a week or a year.

“The goal is to find 180 sponsors in Callaway County as soon as possible. Currently we have 108 students funded for the upcoming year,” Wampler said.

“The Callaway County community,” he said, “has the opportunity to change the number of students we are able to provide for in this next school year. Every dollar raised in Callaway County will benefit a child in Callaway County.”

Wampler said in 2006 the Buddy Pack program was started in Callaway County that provides nutritious food for needy children to take home when there is not enough for them to eat during the weekend.

But this year the Buddy Pack program has encountered several challenges. They include:

• A big increase in demand caused by more students needing food.

• The cost of fuel has shot up during the last two years and has increased the cost of long distance freight, pushing up food costs from 15 to 40 percent.

• A major food manufacturer has dramatically cut food donations earmarked for the Buddy Pack program.

To save the Buddy Pack program, the Adopt a Buddy initiative has been launched asking Callaway County residents to make a contribution to keep the program alive.

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