By Michelle Bigelbach
The Courier 

Snack-Pack Program Helps Local Kids

 

December 20, 2017

Courtesy Photo / For the Courier

Left to Right: Heather Ostermiller, Katie Kaiser and Erika Austin have their hands full with donated food provided by Northwest Farm Credit Services for Glasgow's Snack-Pack program.

Junior Katie Kaiser has taken over the reins of Glasgow's Snack-Pack program, which supplies healthy snacks and foods to students in need, specifically on days when children are not in school. The program, established by Morgan Guttenberg in 2016, helps the growing problem of childhood hunger in our area.

According to Kaiser, one in five students are underfed or go hungry when not in school, so in a class of 175 students, 35 of those are going hungry. For Kaiser, that is 35 students too many, and she takes time out of her day each week to put food into packages and then sends the packs to the elementary and middle school counselors. The counselors then distribute as needed to ensure those children affected have the food necessary to get through the weekend and holiday breaks.

She has hit the ground running this year to gain more traction in the community and build the program up to be sustainable. Most recently, the Program has been designated as a 501c3 non-profit organization, and Kaiser has applied to numerous grants in order to obtain more funding. She has attended a class on fundraising, has asked various organizations to provide insights and opinions on fundraising, as well as thought of various events in order to not only help the community but also have the community help her. Two such events are "Work off Hunger" (which will occur in the spring) and "Rake Away Hunger" (which will occur in the fall), allowing her and GHS Key Club members to do small tasks for the community such as spring cleaning, mowing lawns or raking leaves, for a donation to the cause.


The successfulness of this program is not a one-woman show. Kaiser relies on local businesses and community support to provide the funds and food necessary to serve the children. She also relies on counselors and teachers to notify her the number of students in need, and relies on the Glasgow High School students to help collect donations. Most recently, businesses such as FMDH, Northwest Farm Credit Services and Pizza Hut have all helped by donating food or money to the cause. At Delta Kappa Gamma (DKG) winter's meeting, it was decided to make their Christmas donation to the program, donating $155 to the cause.

Kaiser's job is never done and she is always looking for donations. Food donation suggestions include juice pouches, oatmeal, Kraft EasyMac, individually packaged fruit and vegetables such as applesauce cups and raisins, individually packaged crackers, such as Cheez-Its, trail mixes, associated dried fruit, fruit snacks and granola bars. For health and sanitary reasons, Kaiser cannot take food that she would have to individualize. Donations can be dropped off at Glasgow High School, and indicate it's for the Snack-Pack program. Due to the Program's 501c3 status, any and all donations are tax-deductible. If a receipt is needed, just include the request on a post-it note with your donation.


If you have any questions or suggestions on how to raise funds for Kaiser, you can contact her by leaving a message at GHS at 228-2485.

 

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