“Yummy” feeds hungry Students


Photo Credit: Carlos Salinas

Meridith Riha, coordinator of the Yummy Backpack Food program.

Maria Romero, Staff Reporter

In the Schuyler community, “there are quite a few students who struggle with food insecurity once they leave school,” stated Meridith Riha, Counselor at the Elementary School. The Yummy Backpack Program helps elementary students who may be struggling with hunger. Each student who participates takes home a bag of food on Friday. This also allows the students to be more comfortable and not to worry about what they will eat once they get home and do not have access to school meals. By doing this, the students are ready to pay attention and learn the second they come back to school after the weekend. Through this program, the students usually receive “two microwavable entrees, 2 bowls of cereal, shelf-stable white and chocolate milk, fruit juice, and applesauce.” Riha commented.

This program has been going for over five years and it is being completely funded by Foodbank of the Heartland, which they also have donors who help pay for the supplies.  However, if anyone is interested in donating any food, the Schuyler Food Pantry would be happy to accept donations. There are a lot of good people helping prepare this for the students, “we have a group of six students and staff members who unpack the boxes and put the packs of the food into bags. These same students and staff members deliver the bags to each student on the list,” Riha mentioned. At the moment, only elementary students are participating in the program and there are currently over 100 students on the list. Most of the students chosen to participate in this program are usually referred by a teacher or their own parents. Riha and her team will start at the beginning of the year by editing the list and asking for more names of students who may be in need of food.