The First National Bank of Greenville is partnering with Capri IGA to collect food for the Unit 2 Weekend Backpack Program. Students, who have been identified by teachers as having a need, are provided with a backpack full of canned vegetables and pastas, juice boxes, granola bars, and other easy to make snacks.
While not a new program, the need among children attending Unit 2 schools has grown. Last year food was sent home every Friday with 50 children. Lauren Vohlken, Greenville Elementary School teacher and project coordinator, believes an additional 25 kids could benefit. The Weekend Backpack Program is open to students in Pre-K through 5th grade in Greenville and Pre-K through Junior High in Sorento and Pocahontas.
According to Vohlken, the program provides children in need with nutritious food that they can prepare on their own. Vohlken said, “Studies show that good nutrition is critical for good health and success in school. Children who don’t get enough to eat often experience trouble concentrating, lower academic scores, and even difficulty interacting with their peers. Our mission is to pick up where federal and state government-funded meal programs fall short, in that they provide no benefit to the students on Saturday, Sunday, or holiday weekends. We hope to nourish not only the bodies of some of our most vulnerable students, but also their minds.”
Christina Staff, FNB Loan Specialist, is leading the bank’s collection effort. She recently learned about Unit 2’s Weekend Backpack Program. “After seeing a post on social media and learning there was a need within our community to help feed area youth, I knew right away it was something FNB would support,” Staff explained. “We hope to get their upcoming school year off to a running start with a large reserve of goods by way of donations while generating interest in the program at the same time.”
The First National Bank will also be making a cash donation to purchase food for the backpacks.
You may drop off food donations at The First National Bank of Greenville and Capri IGA from July 31 through August 18. You may also purchase pre-bagged items for $9.99 at Capri IGA. A complete list of food needed can be found at both collection sites or by calling Christina at 664-0300.
The First National Bank is located at 1310 E. City Route 40 in Greenville.