Do Something Good: Filling a need…and tummies
MCFARLAND, Wis. — For McFarland resident Nancy Walsh-Boeder it’s just another trip to Costco, but for the people, children, she’s shopping for, it’s food for the weekend.
Nancy is the founder of the Weekend Snack Sack Program. She provides packages of snacks to children in need that are identified by school councilors.
Nancy puts together a monthly menu for these children who she’s never met, and while she doesn’t know who they are, as a lifelong educator she knows what they like.
“There is the importance of shining the light on hunger and the needs that children have when they’re not in school when we can’t support them,” Nancy said.
Nancy made a deal with the Optimists of McFarland to help fund the program. When they started two years ago, they supported students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Last year, they added middle school students.
This year, a total of 30 students in the village are getting snack sacks discreetly placed in their backpacks every Friday afternoon.
As a former reading specialist, Nancy knows what it’s like to work with students who don’t have enough to eat at home.
“They’re generally lethargic, tired, complaining about stomach growling, that type of thing,” Nancy said. “Any teacher, any educator, anyone who works with children, who is exposed to that child who has needs that aren’t being met, you need to reach out and help in some way, and this is our way of helping.”
Nancy helps promote the program that is funded by donations from the community, including families who “adopt a student” for $120 a year. The Optimists also do additional fundraising to support this, because they want to do what’s best for the area’s youth.
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