The Junior League of Rockford, Inc. is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. The Junior League of Rockford reaches out to women of all races, religions, and national origins who demonstrate an interest in and a commitment to voluntarism.

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Apr 14, 2014

Junior League partners with RPS to help kids

One of the best-kept secrets of the Rockford Public Schools is the sheer volume of partnerships we have and the generous volunteer support we receive. The district formally thanks volunteers with a reception in the spring at the Nicholas Conservatory.

Any number of these partnerships are worth profiling, but one has an especially urgent mission: feeding hungry children in Winnebago County. A program sponsored by the Junior League of Rockford, Backpack Buddies, provides a bag of food on Fridays to selected students at McIntosh School. About 20 students are enrolled in the program. The students were identified by staff after showing signs of chronic hunger, such as: rushing food lines,  lingering around or asking for seconds, or making comments about not having food at home.

backpack buddiesBeing hungry is not just uncomfortable. It can have health consequences such as headaches, stomaches, ear infections or fatigue. It can lead to behavior problems like aggression, hyperactivity or anxiety. It can result in lower test scores, lower achievement and higher absences.

The bags delivered to the school include two breakfast items, two main dish items, two 100 percent fruit juices, two fruits, a dessert, a large shelf-stable milk, two snacks and a protein. The bags fit inside a backpack. Students’ names and other information are kept confidential.

More than one in four children in Winnebago County are living in poverty; about 20,000 children do not know where their next meal is coming from. The majority of children enrolled in RPS receive free and reduced meals, but often that is not enough. We count on organizations to partner with us to give students the best possible chance of success.

As of mid-March, the district had totaled more than 29,000 volunteer hours from people and organizations like the Junior League, wanting to help our kids.

You can learn more or donate to Backpack Buddies by visiting the Junior League website at http://www.jlrockford.org/.

Mary Kaull is communications coordinator at the Rockford Public Schools.



Read more: http://blogs.e-rockford.com/rockfordpublicschools/2014/03/30/junior-league-partners-with-rps-to-help-kids/#ixzz2ytcawGpe 
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