Center Line, Warren
Blessing in a Backpack program filling a need
Published March 4, 2013
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.
- 30 DAYS
- Brothers start nonprofit activity program for children with special needs - Ferndale
- Ride to explore sights of St. Clair Shores - St. Clair Shores
- BHS junior’s personal essay brings national writing recognition - Berkley
- Local families participate in kidney walk - Macomb Township
- Decades of Dress features ageless fashion - Rochester Hills
- Local church program expands to transitional housing projects in Detroit - Hazel Park
- Sterling Heights teen to sing in Nashville — and at Sterlingfest - Sterling Heights
- BHS recognized as one of the most challenging high schools in the state - Berkley
- Auto accident critically injures Stevenson student - Sterling Heights
- Stevenson student dies after M-53 accident - Sterling Heights
- Sheriff shares latest developments in fatal Stony Creek crash - Shelby Township
- Three 17-year-olds die in single-vehicle crash at park - Shelby Township
- Madison district plans next phase of consolidated campus - Madison Heights
- Young boy shot in head - Clinton Township