Poynette area residents chip in to help students in need

Recently, volunteers from the Poynette Blessings in a Backpack Program gathered for a volunteer appreciation night. Representatives from the Arlington branch of Monsanto were also present.

The Poynette Blessings in a Backpack continues to make a difference in the Poynette community. Recently, program volunteers, as well as representatives from the Monsanto – Arlington station, gathered for a volunteer appreciation night.

During the 2017-18 school year, the Poynette Blessings Program provided 2,011 weekend food bags to students in the Poynette School District. For each of the 38 weeks of school, an average of 53 students received free weekend food. This is an increase of about six students per week from the previous school year.

The program began with the idea that it would cost $100 to provide a student weekend food for the 38 weeks of the school year.

Because of tremendous local support, the Blessings program has been able to provide more food than the original eight items per weekend. Last school year, students averaged receiving 9.4 items/week. On long weekends, the students often receive 14-16 items. The average cost per student for the school year was $109.60.

Many, many local organizations, businesses and individuals provide financial support for the Poynette Blessings Program. Recently, Monsanto made a $10,000 donation to the program. The Monsanto-Arlington location helped facilitate this very generous donation.

About 30 volunteers help run and oversee the program. The Poynette School District identifies students who would be a good fit for the program and discretely handle food distribution.

This summer, the Poynette Blessings program provided free summer lunches during summer school for any student. Over 800 lunches were provided, which is an increase of over a 15 pecent increase from the previous summer. Thank you to the volunteers, business, organizations and individuals who support the Poynette Blessings in a Backpack Program.

For more information about the program, please e-mail biab.poynette@gmail.com.

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