Under His Wings Thrift Shop in downtown Plattsmouth proved an angel in disguise for 50 children with its recent donation to Woodhouse Auto Family’s Backpack Program Challenge for the Heartland’s Backpack Program and Food Bank of Siouxland.
With the program, children receive a backpack of food items on Friday so they have nutritious choices through the weekend. Under His Wings’ donation of $8,000 to the challenge will provide the 50 children with food every weekend during the school year.
Recipients of the backpacks are chronically hungry students identified by staff members at local schools. Food Bank for the Heartland supplies packs filled with healthy food for those children to take home on Friday afternoons. Each pack contains two cereal pouches, two entrees, two shelf stable milks, one juice, one fruit leather and one fruit cup. They are delivered to participating schools by Food Bank volunteers and staff members.
The Backpack program launched in 2006 with just three schools participating, and today it is distributing 8,300 packs to children in need each week in 240 schools across Nebraska and western Iowa. During the 2016-2017 school year, 47 percent of the children who received packs lived in rural communities and 53 percent lived in the Omaha metro area.
Last year, Under His Wings donated $5,100, which provided for 32 children. “This year we set a goal of 50 children,” said Claudia Wylie, manager of the non-profit thrift store and president of the Under His Wings Foundation board. “We are very proud and honored to be able to help in this way.”
Jeff Donahue, Woodhouse South sales consultant, said the Woodhouse Auto Family is very appreciative of the contributions. “We are so thankful for our partners in the community making this all about the kids,” he said.
“We’ve made making a donation to the program as easy as possible. We set up an online site. You can pay by credit card or PayPal at woodhouse.com/foodbank. People interested in donating can still stop by any Woodhouse location as well if they wish!”
A donation of $160 provides one backpack at $4 a week for an entire school year. This year, every backpack donated, two tickets to the Woodhouse Celebration Concert featuring Jake Owen April 21 at the CenturyLink Center will be made available “as a thank you to the donor, Donahue explained.
According to information from the Woodhouse Auto Family, an estimated 8,400 children in over 240 Nebraska and western Iowa schools receive backpacks full of the nutritious food every week. “The Woodhouse Auto Family urges you to help by participating in the Woodhouse Backpack Challenge and to donate to the Food Bank for the Heartland’s BackPack Program and Food Bank of Siouxland,” the information states.