There are things that make you happy on the inside. Perhaps seeing someone you love prevail in something they always wanted to do, or watching a cartoon while sitting on the couch at home all snuggled up with your family, or maybe it's something so small as to hear the crunch of Fall leafs under your feet. Hopefully reading about the Foodpack Program in Dubuque is something that makes you feel like the world is steering itself in the right direction. The selflessness of some who make sure that the less fortunate are taken care of is the reason for the existence of the Foodpack Program.
Yesterday I was watched the movie The Pursuit of Happyness. In the movie Will Smith plays as a man who is broke and barely gets by trying to sell medical equipment to doctors. This man cares deeply for his son and insists on working as hard as he can to try to give his son the best life possible. While they are happy together, the man's financial situation worsens and forces him and his son to live on the streets of San Francisco, not knowing where their next meal will come from or if it will come. They wander from shelter to shelter and rely on resources provided by these state shelters and services to get by in life.
After watching the movie, I was reminded of something Runde's recently donated funds for - the Foodpack Program. Non-profit services, like the Foodpack program, can aid school-age kids when they are in need of help. The program, headed by The Dubuque Community School District, provides children with a meal over the weekends when school cafeterias' food is not available for them. This supplemental pack helps to assure they are getting proper nutrition.
Last year was the first year of the program and Runde's donated enough money to supply 50 children with the food packs for the year. This year Runde's donated enough to supply packs to 60 children which will be discretely put into children's back packs. The hope of this program is to help fill some of the basic needs of the kids involved. In the pyramid model for the hierarchy of needs, it's said that higher level needs cannot be filled until the lower level needs are first met. That means that it's very difficult for a student to concentrate on his/her reading (higher need) if their stomach is growling in the morning because they haven't eaten since 6pm the previous evening. Hunger is a lower level or basic need. Once that need is filled, the student will have an easier time doing their school work (higher level needs).
The food packs arrive from a distribution center in Tenessee where they come to the St. Stevens Foodbank before they're finally distributed to the schools every other Tuesday. This gives the school 3 days to prepare for distributing the food packs that go out every Friday for 38 weeks. The Schools that are participating in the program are Audubon, Fulton, Lincoln, Marshall, Prescott, Irving and Bryant.
There are several items in the pack, all of which are child-friendly, non perishable, vitamin fortified and easily consumed. The food in the packs change on a bi-weekly basis, but an example of one of the first packs from last year are:
3 Fruit swirls
3 Honey graham squares
3 Milk, apple juice and fruit punch.
3 Single-serve applesauce
3 Mixed fruit
3 7.5 ounces of Beef Chili
1 7.5 ounce of Pasta O's
I take for granted many things in life, but one of the biggest things I take for granted is the fact that I can eat whenever I get hungry - food is always around and never a concern. The biggest concern usually comes down to whether I feel like Chicken Parmasean or a Burger. Programs like this help to keep me in check by reminding me of how fortunate I really am.
It is an honor to be part of this program and Runde's would like to thank the community for thinking of the kids that need it the most.
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