As we enter August, Minnesotans seem to be of two minds: we are simultaneously focused on soaking up as much summery goodness as possible, while also looking toward Autumn.
And so it is here at ICA! We have almost a full month of August left, which means that we are still busy with our Kids' Summer Market, our program which provides extra food to households with school-aged children during the summer months.
Without access to free and reduced-price lunch, many of our local kids struggle with hunger during the summer. We love offering our neighbors this extra food to help feed hungry kids. Last summer, we fed 934 kids through this program! There's still time for you to get involved; donate today.
And as we also look ahead toward fall, we are busy prepping for our school programs! ICA has two: Snack Bins and Weekend Bags.
Snack Bins. We provide our local schools with plastic bins filled with kid-friendly snacks. Each bin contains about 30 pounds of snacks including granola bars, fruit cups, and crackers. School counselors and teachers are invited to pick up a bin and share the snacks with hungry kids. Students who don't receive breakfast at home or don't have a lunch are able to drop by the office and get a snack, so that their growing bodies and brains have the energy they need to learn and grow.
Weekend Bags. Weekend bags are designed to provide additional food to students in need during the weekend when school breakfast and lunches are not available. The food is packed by ICA volunteers into a plastic bag and is small enough to fit into a student’s backpack. Each bag contains 3.5 pounds of nonperishable food. We also include info about ICA that students can share with their caregiver, so that the household can come in and get food for the whole family, including fresh produce.
Right now we're busy prepping for these two programs so that we're ready for the school year, and we need your help! We are particularly in need of granola bars, instant oatmeal packets, macaroni & cheese, and canned fruit (no sugar added). You can also donate financially; ICA's access to discounts and program enables us to purchase up to ten times the amount of food that you can at a grocery store. Donate here.
As always, thank you so much for supporting neighbors in need in our community!
Peg Keenan, Executive Director