Center Line, WarrenMarch 4, 2013
Blessing in a Backpack program filling a need
By Maria Allard
C & G Staff Writer
CENTER LINE/WARREN — Two years after the Center Line Public Schools Board of Education approved bringing Blessings in a Backpack into the district, the program is finally doing what it was intended to do: feed children.
After countless fundraisers and several generous donations to get the program up and running, educators passed out their first “backpacks” this past November. The program provides meals on the weekends to about 125 students in the district.
The program essentially provides three meals on Saturday and three meals on Sunday to those particular students. The backpack — or in Center Line’s case, plastic bags donated by Walmart — goes home on Friday.
“By using plastic, the children don’t have to worry about bringing them back,” CLPS Food Services Supervisor Theresa Elya said. “They don’t have to answer questions as to why they have two backpacks. It eliminates overt identification. Each building handles distribution in it’s own way, to give the students who receive the food as much privacy as possible.”
Blessings in a Backpack is designed to help meet the nutritional needs of children from lower-income families. Qualification to be in the program is based on household income, which is similar to the National School Lunch program. Parents must also complete and return a request-to-participate form for each child.
Blessings in a Backpack provides many foods, including macaroni and cheese, tuna fish, oatmeal, chicken noodle soup and applesauce. Because so many in the district believed in the program, several events were held to raise the necessary funds needed to offer it.
“We had to raise all the money on our own,” Elya said. “We could really use a corporate sponsor.”
Achatz pie sales, salsa sales, spaghetti dinners, Kroger rewards, lottery ticket sales and a “Make A Difference Day” event were among the many fundraisers held.
“We have also received many generous donations from our district groups like our PTC groups, Local (No.) 2722 and (No.) 3154, employee payroll deductions, personal employee donations, corporate donations, Extra Credit Union and grants,” Elya said. “We will continue fundraising and looking for corporate sponsorship.”
“We are very hopeful that we can continuing providing this for our students next year and welcome all donations,” CLPS Superintendent Eve Kaltz said.
The school board approved the program at a school board meeting Nov. 8, 2010.
Founder Stan Curtis created Blessings in a Backpack in Louisville, Ky., in 2005.
If interested in a corporate sponsorship, contact Theresa Elya at (586) 510-2031 or via email at ElyaT@clps.org.
- Last 24 Hours
- Last 7 Days
- Last 30 Days
- Woman found dead in Warren home - Warren
- Former Birmingham mayor arrested again on meth charges - Birmingham
- Business owner slain outside restaurant - Harper Woods
- Community rallies for Shelby boy with brain cancer - Shelby Township
- Christmas Bird Count draws near - Macomb County
- Former Berkley mayor offers to repair clock she donated to city - Berkley
- Helping Hands for Hunger food drive helps Norup students - Oak Park
- Missing woman found dead - West Bloomfield
- All in the family - Clinton Township
- Christmas Wonderfest brings holiday wonder to Novi - Metro Detroit
- Premature birth rates decline in Michigan for sixth year - Metro Detroit
- Looking Back: 1920s Coolidge Highway - Berkley
- Police seek help in fatal hit-and-run - Clinton Township
- Lieutenant promoted to Deputy Police Chief - St. Clair Shores
- Shelby boy battles rare form of cancer - Shelby Township
- Lions Thanksgiving halftime show spotlights WLC band, cheer teams - Walled Lake
- Macomb Home Depot creates college scholarship in honor of deceased employee - Macomb Township
- East Detroit student dies following pool accident - Eastpointe
- Attorney dies in Harper Avenue crash - St. Clair Shores
- CVHS students to stage production of ‘Hairspray’ - Clinton Township
- Looking Back: Selinsky-Green Farmhouse c. 1898 - St. Clair Shores
- Sterling woman hurt in shooting - Sterling Heights
- Christmas comes to the Shores - St. Clair Shores
- County board considers regional water authority proposal - Macomb County
- Shelby boy battles rare form of cancer
- BHS Orchestra selected to perform at Carnegie Hall
- Lions Thanksgiving halftime show spotlights WLC band, cheer teams
- Macomb Home Depot creates college scholarship in honor of deceased employee
- Child prodigy becomes youngest artist exhibited at Park West Gallery
- All in the family
- Christmas Wonderfest brings holiday wonder to Novi