Buy wine, give to the hungry. I'd say that's a win-win proposition. That's just one of the ways the Food Connection suggests we give back to the community this holiday season. (We'll get to the wine, but first, a few other important items.)
First, there are these adorable holiday cards, designed by a fifth grader, with the caption "When Jesus Was Born, They Threw a Party and Everyone Came." You can purchase a set of 10 cards for $10, and all proceeds go to the Food Connection, Pierce County's largest food bank. All you have to do is email Kevin Glackin-Coley, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and he'll hook you up.
Next, you can help a child in need by contributing to the Backpack Project
* Food Connection will distribute backpacks of food to students from McCarver and Bryant Elementary schools who at risk of hunger over the weekends. Hungry children suffer from health problems such as unwanted weight loss, fatigue, headaches and frequent colds. They are more likely to be ill and absent from school and typically cannot concentrate or do as well as others when they are at school.
* The backpack program represents a new and innovative way of providing families with food resources to meet the basic nutritional needs of their children. 95% of McCarver’s students and 65% of Bryant students qualify for free or reduced meals at school. We have learned from our Saturday mobile food bank to Lakewood’s Springbrook neighborhood that many of these children are at risk of hunger over the weekend. A teacher at Tyee Park Elementary, which many Springbrook children attend, told us that she “noticed an immediate difference when we you began the mobile food bank becausemy students didn’t come to school hungry on Monday morning.” Our goal is to serve 100 children weekend at each school and we’d like to expand into additional schools in the future.
* The counselors at McCarver and Bryant will identify those students most at risk of hunger. We will deliver backpacks filled with 6 kid-friendly meals to the schools for pick-up by those students every Friday during the school year. The students will return the backpacks to the school each Monday so they can be filled for the following weekend.
* The United Way of Pierce County and Tacoma Public Schools have already provided us with close to 100 backpacks for the project, and we are working with other community partners to collect the remaining backpacks we will need. We are also working with local schools and organizations to help us collect appropriate foods.
Sample Food Items
We anticipate that we will typically put in the following single serving items in our bag (and include 2 bags per child per weekend):
- Oatmeal packet, single serving cereal, or cereal bar
- Canned fruit (apple sauce, mixed fruit)
- 100% Juice box or shelf stable milk
- Main meal (1 pkg easy mac, cup-a-soup, tuna & crackers, etc)
- 100% Juice box
- Fruit leather/raisins
- Main meal
- 100% Juice box
- Canned fruit (apple sauce, mixed fruit) or small pop-top canned corn
Snack (one item):
- Granola bar, fruit leather, fruit snack, etc.
As you can see, one child will receive 12 items per bag and 2 bags per weekend. Some eat all the food over the weekend, while others will eat most over the weekend and save some for after school snacks.
To Contribute: People can bring food for the backpacks to our main food bank, which is located on the 14th street side of the building at 1323 South Yakima. The entrance is off the loading dock. We're there Monday - Saturday (9:00 - 4:00 M/W/F, 9:00 - 6:00 T/TH, and 9:00 - 2:00 Saturdays). We can also pick food up if someone holds a food drive at work, school, etc.
OK, now the part about the wine.
Here's how it works:
- Choose your favorite wine from McGavick Winery. They currently have Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot available.
- Make a check out directly to The Food Connection, $200 for a case, $20 for a bottle.
- Email Kevin at the Food Connection: email@example.com, or Amy at McGavick Winery: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Enjoy your guilt-free wine.