---- — Have you ever tried to focus on something when you’re hungry? It seems the harder you try to the focus on the task at hand, the louder your stomach growls.
Now, imagine you’re a kid and ask yourself that question again. How hard would it be to focus on the teacher when the sound of your stomach growling becomes deafening?How embarrassed would you be if you feared others could hear your stomach growling from the next desk over? How much would you hate Fridays because it means your access to food is gone until Monday morning rolls back around? How long would the weekend be? How could you do your homework when all you want is something to eat?There are many kids in Cass County that are living these questions. Not having access to food on the weekend is a stark reality of their lives. That’s no life to live.It’s a problem the Thompson Totes Backpack program is trying to solve. Getting off the ground in November 2010, the program was serving 65 families in Southeastern School Corp. During the 2012-13 school year, an average of 85 families benefited weekly from the service.Volunteers prepare bags of food that are sent home with students on Friday to feed them over the weekend. So far, more than 21,000 pounds of food has gone home with hungry children.In the time the program has been running, volunteers will tell you they’ve learned just how needed the service is. Children return each week eager to pick up their backpacks. To many of us, it’s just a bag of food. To these kids, it’s life-changing.And now the program is looking to change even more lives. It’s expanding for the 2013-14 school year and will serve kindergarten through third grade at Thompson Elementary School, as well as expand to provide weekend food for grades four through six at Galveston Elementary School. They expect to serve 125 children this year. You can help. There are different levels of sponsorship: $190 will provide one child with weekend take home food for one full school year; $95 will provide one child with weekend take home food for one semester; and $6 will sponsor a child for one week.To become a sponsor, send your donation to Thompson Totes, P.O. Box 447, Walton, IN 46994.You may also send your contribution directly to United Way of Cass County, 401 E. Broadway, Logansport, IN 46947. Be sure to write Thompson Totes in the memo line.We’re sure they’d appreciate any help you could give.
THE ISSUE Lack of weekend food stark reality for some children. OUR VIEW Thompson Totes Program is trying to solve the problem and could use your help.