Joe Gruber, Exec Director, University District Food Bank

foodbankLast week’s program was an occasion to make one feel good all over. A $15,003 check was presented to Joe Gruber, Executive Director of the University District Food Bank. It is our charity of choice, benefiting from Debuts and Discoveries. The bulk of the proceeds is destined for Packs for Kids, ensuring good weekend nutrition for school children in need of it.

Packs for Kids was begun at Eckstein Middle School where it was estimated that one in five children had to struggle with hunger, impairing, among other things, their capacity to study. It expanded to other schools.

A healthy diet is the norm in these packs, to wit, fresh fruit, a healthy drink, and items of that variety. Packs are taken home on Friday. An average pack, whose container is reusable, costs $4.25. Work is afoot to bring it down to $3.50.Last year $30,000 was budgeted. Now the cost is $42,000.

Our support last year was seed money for the current year. As this relatively new program expands, more awareness and thus more funds are in the offing. There seems to be plenty of support. Eight schools are now in the program, meaning that the number of packs increases each year. Sandpoint elementary is soon to be included.

Sunrise Rotary is the foundation of support. Packs for siblings is now included. It stands to reason that, if a child requires this type of support, siblings are in the same situation. There are not just a few homeless students. Others are being sought and made recipients.  Joe recalled a few anecdotes in which such help has made heartwarming differences.

Comment: Afterwards, someone told him, “Bless you for what you do.”

His answer was that he feels privileged to do it.

Need more be said?

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