“It breaks your heart to see children show up to school unclean, tired, or hungry. Not only does this impact their individual learning, but also their self-esteem.” Lisa Clark, a 3rd grade teacher at Stalker Elementary School in Blackfoot, says of the upsetting reality she sees on a daily basis. “These kids have no chance to learn or develop as an individual when their tummies are empty. It is hard not to feel sad for those students in your classroom who are suffering. I want to take them home and feed them a warm meal and give them a nice bed to sleep in.”
Many in Idaho do not understand the growing need that must be filled. Children in your community are hungry. Out of 20 students in Ms. Clark’s class, six of them receive food backpacks supplied by The Idaho Foodbank every Friday. (That is nearly 1/3 of the class.) The Backpack Buddy program gives children easy-to-make breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks. These young students who rely heavily on free and reduced-price school lunches as the bulk of their food for the week have access to food during the weekend thanks to the program.
As Ms. Clark puts it, “Having programs such as Backpack in our schools really helps my students, as well as many other students in Idaho, get the food they can’t supply for themselves. Children shouldn’t have to suffer at such a young age and worry about where their next meal is coming from.”
It has often been said that it takes a village to raise a child. Children need a chance to grow to their full potential in life, and it is our job to help raise children’s self-esteem and give them the ability to rise to their true prospective. This school year you can sponsor an elementary student who deserves to learn and grow. A child who deserves to only worry about what game they are going to play at recess. A child who deserves to be taken care of. A child who deserves to have a full tummy. Make a difference in a child’s life this school year. Please join The Idaho Foodbank in funding the Backpack program.