St. Luke's United Methodist Church
Friday, December 15, 2017
The Friendly Church

KILGORE ISD BACKPACK PROGRAM

St. Luke's has partnered with the East Texas Food Bank and Kilgore ISD to provide food for children who participate in free and reduced price meal programs during the week, but are at risk of going hungry on weekends and holidays.  This program provides nutritional meals and snacks to these children to help sustain them when not at school.  

The success seen by participants in this program is astonishing! Documentation and feedback from administrative staff, faculty, parents, and children shows distinct improvements in behavior, academics, social interaction, and a lengthened attention span.  The identities of the students who receive food through the Backpack Program are kept confidential.

Teachers are trained to recognize the signs that indicate the need for food.  The children receive the packs, discreetly, at the end of the school day every Friday from the school Backpack Program coordinator.
 
HOW TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE BACKPACK PROGRAM
There are two (2) ways to send your contributions to the Kilgore ISD Backpack—#706B account:
          1. Online donations can be directed to: https://easttexasfoodbank.org/backpack
                    A. Write Kilgore ISD Backpack-#706B under the “Backpack Program You                          Wish to Support” field.
                    B. If you use the “general donation page” on the Food Bank Home Page, DO                          NOT select “partner agency”. Instead, SELECT Backpack.
          2. Written Checks: Make out to “East Texas Food Bank” and on the memo line                        print:  Kilgore ISD Backpack—#706B
                    Mail to:  East Texas Food Bank
                                   3201 Robertson Road
                                   Tyler, TX 75701
 
NOTE: The East Texas Food Bank will send you a letter for tax purposes for any contribution you send directly to them - either an online contribution or a mailed contribution.
EXTREMELY IMPORTANT
Be sure to designate your contribution for the Kilgore ISD Backpack—#706B
This is the unique identifier for the Kilgore Backpack Program

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KISD STATISTICS THAT INSPIRED START OF BACKPACK PROGRAM BY OUR YOUTH GROUP:
          -KISD serves 4,100 children ranging from early childhood through 12th grade.
          -62% are economically disadvantaged
          -56% are academically at risk
The statistic that first caught the attention of our Youth Group was the 62% of children who are living in economically disadvantaged situations. They asked, “How can children do their best if they are hungry?”

Research shows that hungry children have poorer mental and overall health, miss more days of school, suffer greater rates of behavioral disorders, and are less prepared to learn when they are in school.  More information available at www.feedingamerica.org. Texas rates 7th in child food insecurity.  

The Youth researched “how to help”. They became aware of the school Backpack Program available at other schools and asked the church members to help get it started at our school.  In consultation with teachers (who are able to identify students needing this help) in grades Kindergarten through 5th Grade, the Backpack Program was adopted by the church as a ministry. 

They soon realized that to sustain the program long term, there had to be a better system. Fortunately, they were put in touch with the East Texas Food Bank located in Tyler, Texas, which has an established, federally funded Backpack Program where we can purchase the food at a discounted rate. The Youth voted to partner with the Food Bank by establishing an account (Kilgore ISD Backpack—#706B) earmarked for Kilgore ISD students. Thus, the program could become a “community” program open to support from the Kilgore community businesses, organizations and individuals.
We are reaching out for your consideration to help with an ongoing, permanent, annual contribution which, added to other contributions, will sustain this essential program to feed children, now and in the future.

We can think of no greater love than to feed our hungry children and are asking for your support. We will continue to be responsible for working with the schools and teachers to pick up and deliver the backpack food. Your participation of support makes it possible to continue this program which has improved the educational experience for economically disadvantaged students. Thank you for your generosity.