Merrill Food For Kids fundraiser focuses on food for the weekends
TINA L. SCOTT
Food For Kids will hold their First Annual Food For Kids Fundraising Bash on Saturday, August 28, from 2:00 – 8:00 p.m., at Trophy Bar, 898 E. Main St., in Merrill. The event will include free beer with no cover charge, music from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., 50/50 raffle, raffle baskets, and large item raffles including a television, a firepit, and lots more. There will also be food available for purchase on site from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m., including pulled pork nachos, brats, and hot dogs. Raffle baskets will be drawn around 7:15 p.m.
“This is our last push for funds for the 2021-2022 school year,” said Terra Holdridge on behalf of Food For Kids. “We have been very blessed this year to receive a $10,000 grant from No Kid Hungry, but that only covers about 2 1/2 months of food.”
Free and reduced lunch programs do a great job of providing food for children of lower income families during the school year, on school days. But what happens on the weekends? That’s where Merrill’s Food For Kids program comes in.
Food For Kids, a program completely operated by Merrill area volunteers, purchases non-perishable meals and snack items, bags them, and distributes them to area schools for distribution to participating children, where teachers or aides tuck the bags of food discreetly into their backpacks, so they will have food for the weekends.
The program is entirely funded by donations and grants, when grants are available. It takes nearly $40,000 annually to run the program and meet the needs in our Merrill area communities and schools. Currently, Washington Elementary School, Trinity Lutheran School, Kate Goodrich Elementary School, and Pine River School for Young Learners participate in the program.
It costs approximately $5.00-$6.00 per child, per weekend, to run the program. Approximately 15-17 items are included in each child’s food bag to provide for breakfast, lunch, and snacks for both Saturday and Sunday.
Every single dollar raised or donated to Food For Kids will be used to purchase food items to go into those food bags. No funds are used for administrating the program, as that expense is covered by Saint Stephens United Church of Christ. Donations can also be sent to Food For Kids, 903 E. 2nd Street, Merrill WI 54452.
If you like music and beer, come on down and participate in the Food For Kids Fundraising Bash on August 28 and help provide for area kids.