Volunteers Needed For IMPACT Program In Van Buren

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VAN BUREN (KFSM) - In the River Valley, volunteers are needed to help with a new program to help fight hunger in one local school district.

The Van Buren School District is launching the the new IMPACT program on Wednesday (March 16). They're in need of volunteers as they will pack boxes full of food.

The IMPACT project wants to provide meals at critical times during the school year such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, or spring break when the students aren't in school.

The kids that need this food usually depend on their two school lunches that they receive throughout the day in the lunch room at school. However, when the long school breaks come some of their families struggle to feed them three meals a day. "We think by providing this supplemental resource it can definitely help kids," said Tom Watkins with the Van Buren School District.

The boxes will contain rice, cereal, pop tarts, and so much more for the kids to enjoy. "The box should provide a resource or a supplement for the families," said Watkins. He adds that each box will have around 14,000 calories and will sustain a family of four for more than three days.

Last month, organizers started raising money for this program by hosting a father daughter dance which they said was a huge success. So far the program has raised $7,000 through fundraisers and donations. With this money, they're able to provide food to more than 500 kids throughout the school district during these breaks.

Anyone who wants to participate can meet at the Van Buren School Service Center at 3:30 p.m. Volunteers will be delivering the food boxes to the kids on Friday and Saturday just in time for them to enjoy the delicious food over their long spring break.

According to Watkins, "We try to support our students as best as we can and I know the community of Van Buren wants to do that as well."

Organizers said they plan to have another fundraiser to help raise money for the IMPACT program.

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