Blessings in a Backpack seeks community’s support


Locally, 81 kids are benefiting from the Blessings in a Backpack program.

More than 100 more, however, are unable to receive food.

Pam Kindel, who leads the program in Jackson County, is seeking more community partners to feed the need.

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The program mobilizes communities, individuals and resources to provide food on the weekends for elementary school children in 45 states and the District of Columbia who might otherwise go hungry.

Blessings in a Backpack works with nutritionists to develop weekend menus that provide the most protein for the dollar spent. The food given to the kids is shelf stable, easy to open and requires no preparation or access to appliances.

When Gleaners Food Bank stopped its backpack program that Cummins Inc. was helping with, that resulted in a need to help feed more kids in Jackson County, Kindel said.

“It came to our attention through our contact with the elementary school counselors,” she said. “We have received no information as to why the program was discontinued; however, we saw this as an opportunity for Blessings in a Backpack to try and bridge this gap.”

Locally, Schuler Bauer Real Estate is involved in several community-related projects throughout the year. Blessings in a Backpack started with the business seeing a need within the community and deciding to take action.

“Even though we’ve been able to regularly feed 56 kids within Seymour and 25 in Brownstown, we’ve recently learned that 111 more kids will go hungry within our community every weekend,” said Kindel, office manager for Schuler Bauer Real Estate.

She stays in close contact with each of the elementary school counselors regarding the need for their school and logistics.

“Schuler Bauer has worked with several community partners to help fund and mobilize this project,” Kindel said. “We try to order at least a month’s worth of food at a time. Then we meet with community partners at the Schuler Bauer office to put the sacks of food together.”

They also fill out small notes that go inside each bag with words of encouragement to remind the kids how awesome they are, she said.

“Once the food is packed, it is then delivered weekly to the schools depending on their need,” Kindel said. “It has been a great way to engage members of the community and raise awareness to a need that has been long overlooked.”

It costs nearly $130 per kid each school year to send the weekly meals home with them.

“Our goal is to ensure that every child within the Seymour community elementary schools is fed,” Kindel said.

Individual sponsorships are welcomed and appreciated just as much as business sponsorships, she said. A majority of the community partners sponsor several children throughout the school year.

“Considering Blessings in a Backpack started in March 2020 amidst a pandemic as nothing more than an idea and a desire to help, and now, we are able to provide weekend meals to 81 kids every week, this has been nothing short of a miracle,” Kindel said.

“We have experienced ever-increasing support from local businesses and organizations; however, we want to make an appeal to individuals within the community who want to help,” she said. “Reaching our goal of $15,000 to bridge the gap and make sure no elementary school children go hungry on the weekends will take the help of individuals as well as businesses and organizations.”

Community partners and individuals who have helped make the project possible so far are Schuler Bauer Real Estate, Integrity Mortgage Group, Bailey and Wood Financial Group, First Financial Bank, Centra Credit Union, Seymour Noon Lions Club, Kayla Stice State Farm Insurance, Edwards Truck Sales, Bob Poynter GM, D and E Abstract and Title Co., Jordan’s Barbell Club, Blush and Brush Beauty Bar, Certainty Home Inspections, Jackson County United Way, Laura Jo’s Cookies for Kids, CPR Cellphone Repair, uBreak iFix, Boobs and Brews, Anne Carlin, Darnell Dukes and Madison Rudolph.

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Anyone interested in helping pack sacks for the Blessings in a Backpack program or wanting more information should email [email protected] or call 812-216-2297.

Donations can be mailed to Blessings in a Backpack, P.O. Box 950291, Louisville, KY 40295. Put “Blessings in a Backpack Seymour, Indiana” in the memo line.


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