How I Became A Backpack Buddy
I can remember the exact moment I was introduced to the phrase, "food insecure." I was sitting in the Mix 106 studio, reading the Idaho Statesman and probably snacking. It was June 2007. There was an article about how The Idaho Foodbank needs food more than ever in the summer. The majority of people only think about charities during the holidays. With school out in the summer, families in need, need more food for the kids because they are eating breakfast and lunch at home. I will never forget reading the line, "1 in 4 Idaho children are food insecure." And then it explained that food insecurity means that those children don't know where there next meal will come from. I couldn't and still can't to this day comprehend that. Not in the United States. Not in the society we live in. A week later we had a semi parked at Albertsons in Merdian and we filled it with donations for the Idaho Foodbank. That December I lived on top of a semi truck for 5 days in hopes of filling one semi. We filled 4 thanks to you. And now Mike and I host the Mix 106 Cares for Kids Day to benefit the Idaho Foodbank Backpack Buddy Program.
I have never missed a meal. I could tell you what I am having for lunch next Tuesday I think about food so much. I take advantage of the fact that I have never had to worry about where my next meal was coming from. Now please know, when I say, I can't understand how this could happen in the United States, I fully understand that there are families in some pretty tough situations. But there are enough of us who are not in those situations that it is our responsibility to take care of those who can't. And for those of you reading this and thinking, why should I help someone who made a bad decision or someone who can't help themselves? Because that is one of the perks of not being in that situation. I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams, and one of the benefits of that is being able to provide a backpack every Friday to a child who dreads going home for the weekend because their tummy hurts from being so hungry waiting for Monday's breakfast at school. If those of us who can afford to help each donated just $1, I believe we could take care of this situation once and for all. $1! There are enough of us that can donate $1. And why should we let a child go home hungry because of his parent? Yes, there are going to be some kids that we help that have a parent that takes advantage of the system. But for that one kid, there are 10 more who have a parent who lost a job or who had a medical situation wipe out the family finances. We don't know everyone's story. If you were unable to feed your family would you be broadcasting that to the world? We don't get to know all the stories. What we do get to know is that it costs $6.20 to fill a backpack. It costs $25 a month to become a backpack buddy for the year. The backpack has two breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 snacks and 2 dinners and get the child from Friday back to Monday.
I am extremely passionate about this! If I can accomplish anything with my big mouth in this career of mine, I hope it would be to fill all 10,000 backpacks needed for Idaho school children each Friday. I have seen the process from start to finish. It started last August 24th. Mike and I along with you, raised over $70,000 for the backpack buddy program. Then in the fall I volunteered at the Idaho Foodbank with other Kate U students and we filled the packbacks for the students. This spring I went to the elementary schools and helped distribute the backpacks. The smiles on those little faces melted my heart. They were worth way more than $6.20. Way more than $25 a month. Priceless.
I will be signing up again on Mix 106 Cares for Kids Day to be a backpack buddy for the next year. I ask that you join me in helping to fight "food insecurity." Like I said, $1 makes a difference so don't think that if you aren't making a larger donation that it won't help. Yes it will. Yes it does! I have seen what a $1, what $5, what $10 does at the Idaho Foodbank. Every piece helps out in this puzzle. And like I said, it is puzzling how 1 in 4 Idaho children don't know where their next meal is coming from when their are people like you and me who can help.
Thank you in advance donating to the Idaho Foodbank Backpack Buddy Program!
Call (208) 275-8806 on Friday August 23rd from 5am-6pm to donate. Or donate online on the Mix 106 Cares for Kids Page under the events tab at the top of this page.