LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4)– Shoppers in Loveland and Berthoud put a few extra items in their grocery cart over the weekend to help feed children who do not get enough to eat. The Loveland Rotary KidsPak is working to deliver more than 100,000 meals this year to hungry students.
At the end of a three-day collection drive, volunteers gathered Sunday at Loveland’s food share building to sort some of the final donations.READ MORE: Testing For COVID Ramping Up Again In Colorado
The group packed up more than 30,000 pounds of food collected from eight stores in three days. The food will help to feed hungry kids of all grade levels in the Thompson School District.
“If students are hungry, students are not learning,” said Laurie Shearer, a retired teacher. “As a retired teacher, I saw students who were hungry. They were acting out.”
Shearer was one of 400 volunteers who helped in the citywide food drive, collecting donated canned veggies, pasta and peanut butter, among other non-perishable items for kids in need to eat on weekends.
The non-profit organization has been filling a gap for 10 years, feeding some of the district’s 6,300 students who receive free or reduced lunches on their days off school. KidsPak sends each child home each weekend with a bag packed with five meals.
Donations came in steadily at King Soopers on Eagle Drive, where Berthoud resident Tracy Knott contributed.READ MORE: Vaccination Rate Keeps Colorado Hospitals Out of Jeopardy
“I’ve been on both sides, where I’ve needed help, and I’ve also been able to give,” Knott said. “I really think it’s important.”
Other shoppers also appreciated the efforts.
“This is great,” said Charlene Wickham, a Loveland Resident. “To me, it’s important to make sure the kids get food over the weekend.”
The organization also trains teachers and other school staff members how to spot the signs of hunger.
“If a teacher or anybody in a school system really feels like a kid is not getting enough nourishment, then they need to have a bag and we provide something for them for the weekend,” Shearer said.
KidsPak serves 39 schools and hopes to expand its reach.MORE NEWS: Gov. Jared Polis To Request Federal Disaster Declaration For I-70 Mudslide Damage Through Glenwood Canyon