A program that helps keeps kids from going hungry when they are away from school gets chosen as one of programs that will benefit from this year's Pro-Am. The Northern Illinois Food Bank's backpack program gives students enough food to feed three people for a weekend during the school year.
"Children during the week have access to free and reduced lunches through the schools but when the weekend comes teachers have found those children often don't have enough food at home," says Donna Lake, Northern Illinois Food Bank spokesperson.
Being a Pro-Am charity recipient will help the Northern Illinois Food Bank. Over the last year the group distributed more than 3-million meals just in Winnebago County alone. It serves 13 counties in northern Illinois.
"Hunger is a prevalent issue. About 25 percent of children in Winnebago County will face hunger this year," says Lake.
The money the food bank gets from the pro-am will provide 25 backpack meals to area children for the upcoming school year. The backpacks are filled with things like pasta, canned chicken, beans, quick oats and applesauce. Most of the items are simple enough that a child can make them. But the food bank staff also provides ideas and recipes on how to use the items for people who haven't cooked with those things before.
"The great thing about the backpack is it does provide enough food for breakfast lunch and supper for that child and two siblings so each backpack actually reaches three children," says Lake.
Two other pro-am beneficiaries also get help from the Northern Illinois Food Bank. They are St. Bridgette's Food Pantry and the Rock River Valley Food Pantry.
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