Food bank parties for good cause - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Food bank parties for good cause

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

One in four children in Southeast Missouri go hungry each weekend, according to the Southeast Missouri Food Bank. Friday evening the food bank held a party, not to celebrate the problem, but to help fix it.

"It's important for them to be fed, the kids count on it," said Mark Cook, Jefferson Elementary School Principal.

Cook says he sees first hand how students depend on the Backpack for Friday program.

"They're quick to tell us, am I going to get my backpack this week?" said Cook. "They're counting on it. That tells me that the kids are counting on it."

"There's a hunger issue in Southeast Missouri," said Amanda Winschel, the Children's Program Manager for the Southeast Missouri Food Bank.

"If they go to school in the morning, and they get their breakfast, and they get their lunch, and they go home and they don't get dinner, or they go home for the weekend and they're not eating well, then they don't learn well," said Ann Cunningham, a volunteer at the food bank, and attendee at the 'Party for the Good.'

Cunningham says with all the groups involved, it really is like a party.

"I see a lot of people that I know," said Cunningham.

"Entertainment, food, everything, it's just a party," said Tina Dohogne, Executive Director of Volunteer Intergenerational Center and Retired Senior Volunteer Program.

"Everybody loves a party," said Southeast Missouri Food Bank's Executive Director Karen Green.

One-thousand volunteers helped pack more than 10,000 food bags. Four hundred and fifty students from the Southeast Missouri Area take one of the bags home each weekend for the rest of the school year.

"This will actually go out next week," said Winschel.

"There's so many of these kids in need and there's so much of it to be done," said Cunningham. "When you think about packing up those backpacks, for all those kids every Friday, this way it all gets done."

"It's a wonderful symbol of everyone working together for one distinct cause, and that's to make sure the kids don't get hungry over the weekends," said Cook.

Green says this is the first public event the food bank has ever put on since it opened in 1985, and Dohogne says she hopes next year's party will be even bigger.

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