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For over 12 years, Washington County 4-H teens have led the way in organizing the local Food for Kids Backpack program. Together with local businesses and organizations providing donations, hundreds of youth have been impacted through the program.
It’s hard to realize that a child doesn’t have to be homeless in order to experience hunger. Food insecurity is the likelihood of having to go without a nutritious meal for an uncertain period of time. Nationwide, over 16 million children live in food insecure homes each year. In Kentucky, there were 226,790 children who lived in food insecure homes in 2010.
With school starting this month, it’s time to think about those children in our community who need additional help on the weekends. Last year, the Washington County Food for Kids Backpack program helped provide food for 52 students in the Washington County school system. The food is ordered through the Feeding America backpack program which services approximately 27 counties in KY.
How can you help? There are several ways. If someone wants to make a contribution online, visit the Feeding America website at www.feedingamerica.org and designate your donation to Washington County. Local citizens and businesses can contribute by designating their donations to the special account for Food for Kids Backpack at the Springfield State Bank. Donations are also accepted at the Washington County Extension Office with checks made payable to Washington County Food for Kids Backpack.
In addition to the sponsors, Community Action is the non-profit that food is ordered through and delivered to and the Family Resource Centers and Head Start helps identify the students in the greatest need and gets the food delivered at the end of each week.
Washington County high school students have an opportunity to join the 4-H Teen Club and be eligible to attend the Southern Region 4-H Leadership Conference in Crossville, Tenn., Sept. 26-29. The deadline to register will be Sept. 2. There is a cost for the conference, but the 4-H Council will provide a scholarship and those attending can participate in the Monday, Aug. 26 bake sale to raise additional money to defray from the conference cost. The conference is open to all high school students, grades 9-12.
The 4-H sewing club, the Best Sew-ers in Town, will begin their new club year on Thursday, Sept. 5, at 3:15 p.m. at the Washington County Extension Office. All youth wanting to learn to sew or who are already participating in the program should attend this first session. Anyone with questions about the 4-H sewing program may contact the Washington County Extension Office at 336-7741.
After school 4-H clubs will begin meeting in September. Youth must register through Washington County Elementary Springboard or North Washington BEST programs, as well as fill out a 4-H enrollment form. NWES 4-H will begin on Sept. 17 and WCES will begin on Sept. 19. A limited number of youth will be accepted for both programs.
Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability or national origin.