It's Mix 106 Cares for Kids Day (8/10/17) benefiting The Idaho Foodbank's backpack buddy program. If you're wondering why this event is so important to us and our community, here's why.

This was a letter written to all of our Mix 106 listeners two years ago, sharing heartfelt thoughts as to why this program is so valuable to our Treasure Valley.

Dear  Future Backpack Buddies,

There's a child in your kid's class that is food insecure.  This means they don't know where their next meal is coming from. Your child knows that when they get home there will be food in the fridge. These kids don't have that luxury. They go without. Their only meals are school breakfasts and lunches. 1 in 5 Idaho children are food insecure. They have no clue when they're going to eat next. And they have no way to change that. They can't go out and get a job. They can't go to the grocery store and buy something to eat. These Idaho children are completely reliant on adults to provide their next meal. That's what being a backpack buddy is all about. You're making sure that child gets a backpack on Friday afternoon from the school counselor. In the backpack they get 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners and 2 snacks to get them through the weekend.

I have to address the comments about helping people who abuse the system. I am not arguing with you that there are people out there who take advantage of the help that is offered. But these hungry children are not those people. Even if their parents are, these kids should not be punished for the bad decisions their parents make. Kids have no control over who their parents are. These are innocent, hungry kids who can't sleep because of the pain. They can't focus at school. They misbehave in class because they are starving. One backpack can change all that!

You also need to know, not everyone who needs assistance is abusing the system.  These people are your neighbors, your co workers, your friends. There are people who need help feeding their family because they lost their job, they had a medical emergency that wiped out their finances. They are families that don't make enough money to qualify for help but still can't feed their family. They have fallen through the cracks. No one walks around advertising that they need help. You never know who it could be. Hopefully it's never you. And Mike and I can vouch that those who have needed the backpack buddy program to help them get back on their feet, are usually the first to donate and give back because they understand how beneficial this program is.

Becoming a backpack buddy means that you're pledging $25/month for the next 12 months. We, of course, are accepting any dollar amount for donations today. EVERY little bit helps and makes a difference. The Idaho Foodbank, through their partners, can take $1 and get $7 worth of food out it. All your money stays here in Idaho. You could be feeding your neighbors or a kid that goes to school with your son or daughter. Join me and become a backpack buddy.

CALL  208-275-8806 between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Thursday



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