Covering Kentucky

Feb 2, 2013 3:18 PM

Backpack Programs Begins At Southern Ky. School

CORBIN, Ky. (AP) - A southern Kentucky woman has taken up the plight of hungry children by starting a backpack program at an elementary school.

Melinda Moses told The Times-Tribune (http://bit.ly/V5hKXR) that the initiative sends a backpack full of food home with needy children when they leave the classroom of Boston Elementary in Whitley County on Friday afternoon. Moses says the food - mostly items that are packaged and ready to eat - ensures children have enough food don't go hungry while they are out of school on weekends.

She said she worked with Denise McKeehan to get the program started in January. Eventually, she said she like to see it spread to all schools in Whitley County.

"This program is for children in school who receive little or nothing to eat (through the weekend)," Moses said. "They're not getting good, adequate nutrition - and that affects their behavior (and) their attitude.

"We want to make sure they have enough food."

Moses said she got the idea due to a similar program at another school.

She said addition donations meant they were able to help almost twice as many students during the second week of distribution.

"We've already got 13 this week," she said in January. "We had seven last Friday."

Magistrate Jamie Fuson said he's "a full supporter" of the initiative. "Everybody says they want to help, but very few act on it," Fuson said. "But there are people in my district who do help and will help these kids."

Moses said she would eventually like to see the program expand.

"It's my dream to see this program carry over into all the schools in Whitley County," she said. "But to see the program get bigger we need more donations."

She said she hopes to change perceptions through the program.

"We want to challenge the mentality of the community," she said. "And change starts with the young people."

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Information from: The Times-Tribune, http://www.thetimestribune.com

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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