Food Bank’s ‘Adopt A Buddy’ program now in sophomore year

March 13, 2013

in Local

By Kyle Siegel
Staff writer

The Food Bank’s Adopt a Buddy program is under way for its second year and they are asking for help from the public to fund this worthwhile child weekend-feeding program.

According to The Food Bank Regional Coordinator Darren White, The Food Bank provides The Open Door with over 90 percent of their food.

“They are an agency of The Food Bank. They are a member agency. Over 90 percent of the food they get comes from us. Jack Menges packs Buddy Packs for Pettis, Benton and Saline Counties,” White said.

A Buddy Pack consists of several nutritious items for children to take home on the weekends, when they might not have an opportunity to eat well.

“It’s about five to seven pounds of nutritious food, so we try to include juice, some kind of fruit product, some kind of grain product and then a protein.

“Once a month peanut butter is the source of protein. All of those food items are kid friendly. They are easy to open and can be microwaved,” White explained.

The food items are sent home in a backpack the children return after the weekend is over.

White was asked to give some information on the Adopt a Buddy Program.

“This is the second year that we have had this program. We have had the Buddy Pack Program since 2005,” White said.

He added, “We launched the Adopt a Buddy program last year, because The Food Bank was covering that and the expenses got too much for us to cover all of the counties this program is in.”

According to informational materials given by White, the Adopt a Buddy Program costs $180 for an entire year, or $15 a month, to provide nutritious food for youth.

Anyone can sponsor the program, from individuals, organizations and companies.

Anyone that wishes to sponsor the program may send a check payable to Adopt a Buddy, care of Jack Menges at the Open Door Service Center at 111 W. 6th Street in Sedalia, Missouri.

They may also visit and sign up to give $15 a month or $180 a year.

For more information, people may contact the Open Door Service Center Director Jack Menges at 660-827-1613.

According to the information given by White, there are 4,080 children in Pettis County that qualify for reduced or free meals at school.

That totals 62 percent of school age children in Pettis County.

There are 210 children at Heber Hunt, Horace Mann, Sedalia Middle School, Skyline, Washington, Dresden, Northwest and Smithton Elementary School that receive food from The Food Bank’s Buddy Pack Program each week.

The Food Bank is located at 2101 Vandiver Drive in Columbia, Missouri and they service counties in Central and Northeast Missouri.

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