Gainesville, Fla. – On July 8, Optym team members presented a check for $2500 to the Food4Kids Backpack Program, an organization that helps feed hundreds of needy kids in Alachua County when school is not in session. The amount is the first installment of a monthly contribution the company has committed to the organization to support their mission to combat child hunger.
Food4Kids reaches out to schools to find the most chronically hungry children for the program. Because they are generally on the county’s free lunch program, many of them get their last full meal of the week on Friday afternoon at school. The program gives the children backpacks that are filled every Friday with nonperishable items such as cereal, canned vegetables, peanut butter, granola bars and applesauce to help them through the weekend.
“Most of the kids are proud to bring their backpacks of food home,” said program founder Jennifer Moore. “And they’re so grateful. They write us notes that say, ‘Thank you for the macaroni!’ and ‘I love the chocolate pudding!'”
Moore notes that the kids fed through the Food4Kids Backpack program have shown an increase in weight, more attentiveness at school and better behavior overall. These benefits increase the likelihood that the students will come to school rested, alert and ready to learn. Backpacks and boxes are also filled for holiday breaks and a few times throughout the summer.
“Food4Kids has an invaluable impact on the lives of children and families throughout our community, and to be able to be a part of that effort is truly an honor,” said Isabel Hasty, a writer on the Optym marketing team. “We hope that our help goes a long way in furthering their cause, and we look forward to continuing our support of the program.”
Visit the Food4Kids Backpack Program’s website for more information on how to help combat child hunger.