According to a study by Feeding America, an estimated 13 million American children under the age of five are at risk of hunger. The U.S. Census estimated that 18.3% of Vernon Parish residents were considered below poverty level in 2018. These numbers have increased in this time of pandemic. Going hungry will have a severe impact on a child’s ability to learn. Behavioral problems have also been linked to hunger in children. Hungry children have a hard time learning and concentrating. When students are not in school, they may not get the nutrition they need for proper growth and development.
By sending these students home with a backpack filled with nutritious, non-perishable foods and snacks, the students are getting some of their dietary needs met when school is out for the holidays. Any non-perishable food that the child can open and eat directly from the container, such as: peanut butter, cheese crackers, snack size bags of cookies/crackers, fruit cups, raisins, pudding, juice boxes, dried fruit, granola bars, single serve boxes or cereal are needed. Any donation would be greatly appreciated!! The Vernon Parish 4-H Teen Leaders have taken on this backpack project to assist Mrs. Leslie Ortiz in this very worthwhile endeavor and are hoping to provide these backpacks to children in need at each of the schools in Vernon Parish.
Donations of food or money can be brought to Mrs. Leslie at the Special Education Center across from the School Board Office, or to the 4-H office in the Old Courthouse. Checks can be made out to Vernon Parish 4-H for the purchase of items to complete these backpacks. Help us provide nutrition to our needy children today! For more information, contact Mrs. Leslie at (337) 239-9041 or Mrs. Kem at (337) 239-3231.
Items most requested: 14-to-18-ounce jars peanut butter, Vienna sausages, snack crackers, snack size bags of cookies, fruit cups, oatmeal packets, ramen soup packets , raisin boxes, pudding cups, juice boxes, dried fruit, granola bars, single serve boxes of cereal, single serve mac n cheese, sleeves of saltine crackers, fruit snacks, small Ziploc bags, plastic spoons, and monetary donations.