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Plymouth Church Helps Fight Childhood Hunger

A pilot program that started in a Plymouth church is now feeding hundreds of kids in the Robbinsdale School District. The KidPack program will be recognized at an upcoming awards ceremony.

Plymouth Church Helps Fight Childhood Hunger

The Weekend KidPack Program, a program of Robbinsdale Area Schools in partnership with many faith and community partners, is to be recognized at the Local Government Innovation Awards Ceremony on January 16 at the Humphrey Institute of the University of Minnesota.

The Weekend KidPack Program is one of 18 entries to receive the 2012 Innovation Award, recognizing a local unit of government for innovation and creativity. There were 111 entries for this award. The ceremony will take place on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 from 3-5:30 p.m. at the Cowles Auditorium, Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, 301 19th Ave. South in Minneapolis.

Across Minnesota, 14% of all children live in poverty. Within Robbinsdale Area
Schools, 48.58% of all students qualify for free or reduced price lunch. Food is
sometimes hard for these families to provide, and hunger affects achievement in school.

Federal lunch programs provide breakfast, lunch and snacks for children during the school day. Food shelves provide for families outside of school. Oftentimes this still is not enough. Many children simply go hungry on the weekends.

Through a 2010 pilot started at Beautiful Savior in Plymouth, MN, a unique program to address childhood weekend hunger has now grown to all elementary schools within Robbinsdale Area Schools. KidPack’s innovation is the maximization of volunteerism and citizen participation in addressing a local need. During the 2011-2012 school year, over 18,000 KidPacks were delivered to Robbinsdale Area Schools students in six elementary schools and one pre-school program. Over 1300 volunteer hours translated to an in-kind value of $30,00. Faith and community partners raise the funds to provide for the food items in the KidPacks.

For more information about Weekend KidPack, please contact Melodie Hanson,
Robbinsdale Area Redesign, at 763-504-4981. The public is invited to attend the
ceremony.

The Local Government Innovation Awards were created to recognize and share creative strategies communities are embracing to answer the reality of an aging population, rising health care costs, and an increasing demand for government services -- all with reduced revenue.

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