It takes $4,000 to fund the Buddy Pack program in Pettis County for a full year and the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri has teamed up with the Sedalia Parks Department to raise as much of that money as they can next week.
A fundraiser will be hosted at the Liberty Park and Centennial pools from 1 to 6 p.m., Monday. All admission costs to the pools will be donated toward the Buddy Pack program and all of that money will specifically help Pettis County students.
More than 60 percent of enrolled students in Pettis County qualify for free or reduced lunch and the Buddy Pack program, sponsored by the Food Bank, helps some of them stay fed at home.
Darren White, regional coordinator for the Food Bank, said there are 210 students in Pettis County who receive a backpack full of nutritious food for the weekend from the program. Those students qualify for free or reduced lunch and have been recommended by their teacher for the program.
The program functions year round, with students receiving backpacks on weekends during the school year and throughout the summer.
“The Buddy Pack program gives kids food they might not otherwise receive or to supplement what they get at home,” White said. “We give them three to five pounds of food to help get them through tough times.”
Radio stations 92.3 and 105.1 will be at Liberty Park from 1 to 3 p.m. and Centennial pool from 3 to 6 p.m. playing music and getting residents excited to donate, he added.
For those not interested in swimming but still wanting to donate to the cause, tables will be set up at the front entrances of both pools for donations. Also, the Parks Department has already promised to donate in addition to admission costs and will donate the remaining money needed to reach $2,000.
For more information on the fundraiser or the Buddy Pack program, call White at 573-474-1020.