McCullough student gets her backpack adjusted

McCullough Academy students receive weekend meals from community partners

Contributed By: The 411 News

Northern Indiana Chapter of Links, Purdue University Northwest and Foodbank of Northwest Indiana

This past Friday January 13th, 100 scholars from Frankie Woods McCullough Academy in Gary went home for the weekend with a backpack filled with nutritious food.

Across the nation, backpack food programs feed hundreds of thousands of children whose main meals are eaten during breakfasts and lunches served at school, and because of their families economic circumstances are at risk of missing meals over the weekend.

McCullough's backpack food program is a community project of the Northern Indiana Chapter of the Links and its Black K.A.R.E program. The Black K.A.R.E. (Kidney Awareness Resources and Education) program targets preventable diseases in the African American community.

“Our program teaches children the importance of good nutrition and its role of preventing chronic kidney disease, diabetes and heart disease,” said Dr. LaVada Taylor, President of the Northern Indiana Chapter of The Links. This particular project is in it’s second year thanks to the support of organizations that align with the mission to address Chronic Kidney Disease through preventive initiatives.

Joining The Links at McCullough to kick off 2023's first weekend backpack distribution were its partners from Purdue University Northwest and the Foodbank of Northwest Indiana.

Purdue Northwest funded McCullough's backpack program with a contribution of $23,000. The meals are put together weekly by the Foodbank of Northwest Indiana and will continue until the end of the school year.

“Food security remains a barrier for education in our communities,” said Dr. Kenneth Holford, Provost & Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs at Purdue Northwest. “It’s a fundamental need that contributes to the success in learning.”

In conjunction with the daily food insecurities that children experience, the program is geared towards filling the gap with healthy alternatives in hopes to prevent childhood obesity and other health issues later in life.

“Our mission at the food bank is to feed people today and end hunger tomorrow by inspiring and collaborating with our community, and this program exemplifies this,” said Victor Garcia, President/CEO of the Foodbank of Northwest Indiana.

“It’s a blessing to see the community coming out to help our kids,” said McCullough Academy Principal Sharmayne McKinley. “It has a lasting impact for our students to actually see the faces of the community members responsible for the program. We continue to welcome you and others to our school.”

Story Posted:01/18/2023

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