THE SHARE BACKPACK PROGRAM:
KMR is delighted to support the Share Backpack Program, which was created to alleviate the hunger that many schoolchildren face during the weekend. To protect the privacy and dignity of each recipient, unmarked bags are discreetly distributed to those in need on Friday afternoons. The bags are packed with protein-rich items, grains, fruits and vegetables, and other wholesome meals and snacks. On Monday mornings, the bags are returned to be filled again at the end of the week.
KMR’s longtime assistance to Share has included not only its active sponsorship of the Backpack Program, but a gift toward much-needed upgrades at their Vancouver facility. “They needed a spot to make these 1,000-plus backpacks,” says Marty Rifkin, referring to the number of bags distributed each weekend. “We saw an opportunity to help them meet a need, and we stepped in.”
Students and teachers alike express profound gratitude for this program. “When you’re hungry, you don’t really pay attention [in class] and when we didn’t have the backpack food, I was kind of struggling during school. But now since we do the backpack thing, it’s been really good for me,” says Graciela, a young beneficiary of the program.
Graciela’s testimony illustrates a well-known truth: that malnutrition in childhood is associated with lower academic performance and poorer cognitive development. In light of this fact, it’s especially distressing that in Clark County, one in five children face hunger on a daily basis, and a staggering 42% of the students enrolled in the district’s public schools – more than 31,000 children – are eligible for free or reduced-fee lunches. The Backpack Program was created specifically to address the interim between Friday and Monday, when many vulnerable children might otherwise go hungry.
“Each Year, KMR provides 1,000 holiday gift bags full of hygiene items, warm weather clothing and gift cards for Share’s annual holiday party for those experiencing homelessness and/or poverty. Their generosity extends to the purchase of soft Pillow Pet-like bags for children so there is a little joy incorporated in providing the necessities of life.”
“Share is incredibly grateful to Kate Jones, Marty Rifkin, and the entire KMR Group Foundation for the exceptional investments they make in our community each day”
• Bridge the Gap
• CDM Services
• Chabad of Clark County
• Clark County Food Bank
• Friends of Doernbecher
• Jewish Business Network
• Maimonides Jewish Day School
• NW Association for Blind Athletes
• Pacific Foundation for Blind Children
• Raphael House
• Salmon Creek Hospital Foundation
• YWCA – Clark County