warning: file_exists(): open_basedir restriction in effect. File(/var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/../ad_/ad_cache_.inc) is not within the allowed path(s): (/var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/:/tmp/) in /var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/sites/all/modules/ad/adserve.inc on line 160.

School backpack program grows, needs more help

In their fourth year of the backpack program, volunteers with Common Cup Ministry and Hunger-Free McLeod are packing close to 200 backpacks with food for underfed children in the Glencoe-Silver Lake and Hutchinson school districts. And the need continues to increase.
The backpack program is a movement in McLeod County to decrease hunger in children by providing meals for kids who receive free and reduced-price lunch in the school districts. Volunteers fill backpacks with donated food for children to eat over the weekend while they are at home and not at school, and the backpacks are delivered to students each Friday.
Cheryl McDougall, a Glencoe resident and volunteer with Common Cup and Hunger Free McLeod, said the number of students here in Glencoe is huge, “and we just added third graders to the program. We used to only offer backpacks for K-2 students, but the need is there.” She said the program also has grown to include students from St. Pius X and First Lutheran schools in Glencoe.
McDougall said the backpack program is very “discreet. The schools pool together names of those who receive free/reduced lunch and invite those families to be part of the backpack program. They return a form and only administrators in the district and teachers know who receives the backpacks of food. As volunteers, we just get the number of how many to pack.”
McDougall, and her husband, Duane, were inspired to volunteer by Eldean Anderson, and the pair started packing bags two years ago. Currently, McDougall said volunteers are packing 57 bags every week for students in Glencoe, and close to 200 total for the county.

For more, see the Dec. 3 print edition of The Chronicle.