Hunger doesn’t take a break for the weekend.

That’s why staff at Madison Elementary School in Madison Heights not only feeds hungry kids a filling breakfast and lunch. They also send the hungriest kids home for the weekend with what they call “blessings in a backpack.”

It’s a backpack full of healthy, nutritious food like fruit and milk to keep them going on the days when school administrators aren’t there.

Blessings in a backpack happens through Gleaners Community Food Bank.

The backpack can be the difference between a child who succeeds in school, and one who’s unfocused, tired and struggling.

“When they’re getting enough to eat they’re in great moods, they’re ready to learn, they are focusing on what the teacher is teaching them,” said Madison’s principal Lisa DiGiulio. “They’re excited to be here, you can see it in their faces.”

The school’s motto is succinct: prepare, aspire, succeed.

But no one can succeed without the food they need to stay strong and healthy.

Keep these things in mind as 104.3 WOMC kicks off its annual Children’s Hunger Radiothon benefiting Gleaners Community Food Bank 6 a.m.-7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2.

  • One in five Michigan children struggles with hunger
  • Nearly 300,000 children rely on free or reduced-fee meals at school. On the weekends many of these kids go without.
  • Gleaners’ School-Based Mobile Pantry program reaches hungry children in high-need communities. Each distribution provides up to 150 households with 30-35 pounds of nutritious food, including frozen meat and fresh produce.
  • $1 = 6 meals for a hungry child thanks to the match from Kroger.
  • Hungry kids need food to thrive







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