Food program now helping Manawa families
By Jane Myhra
Solarus has donated $1,500 to Manawa Cares’ Project Backpack program.
Project Backpack, which was launched by Shepherd of the Lakes Church in June 2016, provides families in need with food during weekends away from school. Project Backpack’s mission is to stamp out hunger in area schools, one student at a time.
Project Backpack is a new program for the Manawa School District, according to local coordinators Saundra Coyle and Bobbi Joe Pethke.
After five years of lobbying to get the project started locally, Coyle said Manawa Cares received a Cargill grant to help get the local program started.
“The community is really pulling together,” Coyle said. “We anticipated 20 participants and we have 34. It is a big need in our area.”
On the last day of school each week, students are sent home with a backpack filled with supplemental food and snacks to help the family get through the weekend. Backpacks must be returned on Monday to get refilled for the following week.
“It’s very discreet and confidential,” Coyle said. “We use numbers, not names.”
“The backpacks are small enough to put into another backpack,” Pethke said.
Donations are always appreciated. The estimated cost per student for one year is $170. Each backpack includes food and also Remington Quality Foods vouchers for bread and milk.
The local program is in need of more volunteers to help pack, stock, sort, label and deliver backpacks. For more information, contact Coyle at 920-596-2494 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Project Backpack currently serves nine area school districts and about 360 children.
“One of Solarus’ value drivers is the long-term prosperity in the communities we serve,” said Mike Meinel, director of sales and marketing. “The families in the Manawa School District are the future of our community. We are proud to be able to support this wonderful organization and families in need.”
Solarus, formerly known as Manawa Telephone Company, has been an independent telecommunications provider and community leader for over a century. A supporter of Wisconsin schools, community programs and nonprofit organizations. Solarus is dedicated to establishing a high-level of customer confidence by providing advanced technology solutions to the communities they serve.
With their trained team of employees, they continue bringing the newest products in telephone, cable TV and high speed Internet service, along with friendly local service, and the hometown value customers expect and deserve.
Solarus is headquartered in Wisconsin Rapids, and offers local and long distance telephone, Internet and television service throughout North Central Wisconsin. To learn more about Solarus, visit www.solarus.net.