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New Mexico Backpack Program Provides Need for Area students

The Food Bank of Eastern New Mexicos Food for Kids Weekend Backpack Program has already met and surpassed a projected 15 percent growth just midway through the school year.
CLOVIS -- The Food Bank of Eastern New Mexicos Food for Kids Weekend Backpack Program has already met and surpassed a projected 15 percent growth just midway through the school year.  

"We budgeted for this kind of growth to happen over the course of the school year and here we are just in January," said Food Bank Executive Director Melinda Joy Pattison. "There are currently 590 students in 25 schools in Curry, Roosevelt, De Baca and Guadalupe Counties who are fed through the Backpack Program, in comparison to the last school year when the number of students fed peaked at 505."
  
Through the program, educators identify at-risk children who may lack adequate meals on the weekend when they are away from school. Students discreetly receive a food bundle each Friday in their backpack. The bundle includes two each of entrees, shelf-stable milk, cereal, fruit and snacks.
 
"To support the programs rapid growth the Food Bank is in urgent need of financial and/or donations of food that is specific to the program.  This means that it is shelf-stable, single-serve and requires little or no preparation," said Pattison.
"The program is funded each year through foundation grants and private donations."
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