Food Bank of NEA receives grant for backpack program

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – When the Northeast Arkansas Food Bank began its backpack program a few years ago, they were serving 70 kids. Now, they're packing bags for 520-and the list is growing.

To help feed the growing need, the Food Bank recently received a grant totaling $5,000 dollars from the BNSF Railway Foundation.

Vicki Pillow, Director of Development for the food bank said the much-needed cash will help feed a lot of young, hungry kids in Region 8.

"One student said, 'I'm not hungry on Saturday morning.' Which means when they get up to watch their cartoons, there are actually children who don't have anything to eat," Pillow said.

$150 will sponsor a child for a year, for those who can't sponsor, there are other options. Pillow says these items can be donated to the food bank to place in the backpacks:

  • Pop top fruits, soups and meals
  • Shelf Stable Meals
  • Peanut butter crackers
  • Pudding cups
  • Granola  bars
  • Microwavable oatmeal
  • Trail mix
  • Boxes of crackers
  • Snack pack size boxes of cereal
  • Small packages of beef jerky
  • 100% fruit juice boxes
  • Microwavable vegetables

Pillow says there is a list of schools waiting to get on the backpack program. 

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