The Buddy Pack Program is fighting hunger in Mid-Missouri schools

There are children all over the world going hungry every day, and some of those children can be found right here in the Show-Me-State.

A special program for schools in Mid-Missouri called the Buddy Pack Program is trying to help.

KRCG's Facebook Crew talked with local schools and churches Wednesday to see exactly how this program is helping hungry children around Missouri.

Every week Reverend Mark Dumas and many other volunteers gather at a warehouse in Jefferson City to fill plastic bags full of food for Mid Missouri students.

"The Buddy Pack Program provides two days worth of nutrition for students. They get cereal, protein, a snack like granola bars, fruit, and soup for the weekend, while they're home, First United Methodist Rev. Mark Dumas said.

The Central Missouri Food Bank started this program in Jefferson City in 2008.

Dumas said the program started out slow but has gradually grown. Right now he said they serve a little more than 20 schools in Mid-Missouri.

"Last night we did six schools and that was about 430 students. Jefferson City Schools haven TMt started doing it yet this year. But we'll probably be serving at least 1,500 to 1,600 children each week, Dumas said.

All twelve Jefferson City Elementary Schools participate in the Buddy Pack Program. Callaway Hills Elementary school is one of those schools. The principal there told me she is very grateful for the program, because it helps at least 55 of her students get the nutrients they need over the weekend.

"The economic downturn has made life a little more tougher for some of our families. So the Buddy Pack Program has been a really good thing for our kids. You know, I don't think there is anyone out there that wants kids to go hungry, so this program really has been a boon for our students, Callaway Hills Elementary School Principal Ramona Dobson said.

Dobson told me the Buddy Pack Program doesn't just hand out junk food, they focus on food with real nutritional value.

"The Buddy Pack Program helps make sure kids are getting good nutrition and that they're not coming to school too tired because they haven't had enough to eat; that's very important for their progress as they get older. You have to have food to survive and that's what this is for our kids, Dobson said.

Students who are part of the Buddy Pack Program get a bag of food put in their backpack every Friday before they go home from school.

If you would like to help donate food or money to the Buddy Pack Program, send it to the Central Missouri Food Bank.

They're address is 2101 Vandiver Drive #B Columbia, MO, 6520-1910.

Preview Story:

There are many children all over the world going hungry every day and some of those children can be found right here in the United States.

The U.S. has put together a number of programs to help fight hunger all throughout the world.

One program that is helping children in Missouri fight hunger is the buddy pack program.

So tonight at ten KRCG's Facebook Crew talks with local churches and schools to see exactly how this program is helping hungry children in Mid-Missouri.