With almost half of Callaway County students eligible for the free-and-reduced-priced lunch program, organizers of the Callaway Buddy Pack program - which sends food home with those children - are looking for help from area residents to meet that need.
Callaway Buddy Pack committee member Bill Nigus said the organization's goal is to have 340 children adopted - it costs $180 for the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri-run program to feed one child for the school year. With $33,800 already collected, the Callaway Buddy Pack branch still needs another $27,000 to achieve that goal.
"I was at a meeting yesterday and the number of kids this year in the free and reduced lunch in Fulton alone is 52 percent - across Callaway County it hovers at 48 percent," he said. "With these kinds of numbers, we knew there are a lot of kids going without food on the weekends."
Donors wishing to support the Buddy Pack program may do so through the food bank website at www.sharefoodbringhope.org. There is an option to designate the funds go specifically to Callaway County, and donors have the choice to give a lump sum or make monthly installments toward adopting a student for a year. Contributions also can be made at The Callaway Bank, Central Bank, United Security Bank or Bank Star One.
Nigus said Callaway Buddy Pack also is in need of volunteers to help with sorting and distributing the food. Those interested should contact Nigus at Central Christian Church at (573) 642-3496.