Blessings in a backpack expands to Fairfield - December 01, 2008
The Blessings in a Backpack program will expand to Fairfield Elementary School in January. When students return after winter break, the school will be part of the growing program that sends children home with backpacks full of food on Fridays to help meet the nutritional needs of children and families by providing food to eat over the weekend. At Fairfield, 94 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, an indicator of poverty. The program is already in place at Adams and South Wayne elementary schools where the schools have found attendance rates are higher, particularly on Fridays, and fewer students are requesting to see the nurse, especially on Monday mornings. Before Blessings in a Backpack began at Adams in the spring of 2007, the average attendance on Fridays was 93.3 percent. Now, Friday attendance averages 96.8 percent. When South Wayne started the program in the fall, some students were so excited they cried. Each Friday, the students are full of smiles and happy to pass out hugs and thank-yous as they pick up their backpacks. We are thrilled to be the next site for Blessings in a Backpack, Fairfield Principal Sherry Britt said. Hunger is a barrier to learning. When students come to school hungry or undernourished, they have difficulty concentrating. The program is one FWCS officials are pleased to see growing with community support. We appreciate the support of SchenkelShultz, Mike and Gretchen Gouloff, and the other local businesses that make this program possible, Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson said. Our schools need the support of the community to make sure all students are achieving at high levels, and we are grateful for our partners who have stepped forward to help. To learn more about the program or to donate, visit www.blessings-in.com.