News‎ > ‎

Asgard is Buddying up in support of Backpack Buddies

posted Jun 20, 2011, 7:41 PM by Forrest Smith   [ updated Jun 23, 2011, 8:10 PM ]
One in five Bemidji area children experience hunger and food insecurity!
School-age children who experience food insecurity and hunger are at increased risk for: homelessness; stressful life conditions; psychiatric distress; behavioral problems; lower learning and academic achievement and increased special education needs; depression, anxiety, and poor self-esteem.
Help the children and get your computer fixed!
The entire month of July,  Asgard Computers is offering $30 off a computer tune up, or any diagnostics, to anybody that brings in a $15 or larger cash or check donation for the Backpack Buddies.
About the Backpack Buddies Program
While every child has access to a nutritious breakfast and lunch during school, the same cannot be said for weekends and school breaks.  The Backpack Buddies program was developed to help ensure that every child in the Bemidji school district has access to nutritious, non-perishable and easy-to-prepare food at times when other resources are not available, such as on weekends and school vacations.
Backpack Buddies' Goal
Decrease the number of children that exhibit behaviors indicating and resulting from food insecurity and hunger.
Backpack Buddies' Target
After eight months of being enrolled in the program, 75% of the participants will show:  a decrease in behaviors that indicate food insecurity and hunger, and an improvement in at least one of the following:  social interaction, attention span, physical health, mental health, academics and/or attendance.
History of the Program
The program was piloted, with 103 students, during the 2010-11 school year at JW Smith Elementary thanks to funding from North Country Health Services Foundation, North Country Food Bank and support from Paul Bunyan Communications.
The Future of the Program
For the 2011-12 school year, the United Way hopes to secure enough support for the program to impact the lives of 300 students (students must be enrolled in the district's free lunch program and referred by the school) by continuing the program at JW Smith and expanding it to other district schools where student are at the greatest risk for experiencing food insecurity and hunger, beginning with Central Elementary.
For more information, visit United Way of Bemidji Area.