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MCC Elementary Backpack Program
Nikki Cheskie
Wednesday, March 20, 2019

MCC Elementary was approached last spring by Chandler Feed with the idea of starting a Backpack Program in our local school.  Chandler Feed’s professional connections with the Nutra Blend Company provided a start-up grant through the Nutra Blend “Drive to Feed Program”. 

The goal of the Backpack Program is to reduce childhood hunger by sending food packages home with identified students each weekend.  This is a time when students are unable to access school breakfast and lunch programs to meet their nutritional needs. These types of programs have become popular around the country in recent years.  MCC Elementary currently has 46 students participating in our Backpack Program

Each week, Backpack Program participants receive 2 breakfast items, 2 lunch items, 2 boxes of 100% juice, 2 fruit items, and 2 snack items.  We aim to keep the cost of the food and packaging materials to between $5-$6 per student each week.  We also make sure that the food items are shelf-stable and easy to prepare.  We have gotten wonderful feedback from participants and their families in response to this program.  It is helping to fill a need for children and families in our school district.  We are currently seeking other grant opportunities in hopes of continuing, and possibly expanding, the Backpack Program into the 2019-2020 school year.

A special thanks goes out to the local organizations and individuals who have made financial donations to help support and maintain the Backpack Program – Slayton Women of Today, Kiwanis Club of Slayton, Hearts & Hands of Murray County, Iona Presbyterian Church, Slayton Firefighters Relief Association, and Mark Schleisman.  We are also grateful to Sally Boelter and Mary Homan for volunteering to help prepare and deliver the food packages, as well as MCC Food Service Director, Kerry Peterson for her help and support.

If you are interested in making a financial contribution to help support the MCC Backpack Program, please contact Nikki Cheskie at 836-6450 ext. 5130.