In December of 2009, David Jennings, President and Owner of MPJ, Inc. along side of his wife, Nancy Jennings started a program called Kids Food Pak in Sweet Home, OR. Kids Food Pak is a program set up by volunteers to help make sure kids get healthy food on the weekends. When asked what got them interested in starting a food program for kids, Dave and Nancy stated that they felt like God was calling them to get involved within their community, but they weren’t sure what that looked like. While they were waiting and searching for a program that they could get involved in, they heard about a backpack program on KLOVE and were intrigued. Then they saw similar programs on “60 Minutes” and “The Biggest Loser.” They decided to check out their own community for something similar, but learned that no such program existed. That’s when they began taking the steps to create a backpack program for their community.
Starting with 10 backpacks such a short time ago, Kids Food Pak is now packing 156 backpacks every week to be sent home each Friday. The kids receive their “KidsFoodPak” on Friday after school to take home with them providing meals for the weekend. They must return the empty backpack by the following Monday in order to participate the following weekend. Kids that are likely to need this kind of assistance are identified by school teachers and cousellors.
In part to this program Teachers and Counselors have reported increases in grades, and more importantly increases in attendance as well as improvements in attitudes.
The food these kids receive is supplied by volunteers with “KidsFoodPak” and those who donate food at their local drop-off locations. “KidsFoodPak” has placed food barrels at specific locations throughout the community and collects the donations every week. “KidsFoodPak” is supported by food donations, financial contributions, and of course the many volunteers.
To donate to or learn more about KidsFoodPak please visit us at: www.kidsfoodpak.com