Fundraiser helps backpack program

HOWLAND –The Howland Tiger Food Backpack program will be able to continue providing food to elementary-aged children with a recent fundraiser that generated funds for the program.

Lannie Mease, fundraiser event coordinator, said all proceeds from the basket raffle and dinner event benefit the program that provides food for more than 200 food insecure children in grades kindergarten to fifth grades in Howland for the weekend.

The event included food, entertainment, a raffle of 90 baskets, a silent auction, and a 50-50 raffle.

”This is a major fundraiser for us,” Mease said.

Mease said the backpack program also has added an ”Adopt a Child” where people can donate $159 to help get children food for an entire school year.

Backpacks are prepared by church members, school clubs and community volunteers at Howland United Methodist Church. The program is held each week from October through end of May.

Mease said the event drew 420 people and in 2016, it raised $18,000.

She said the volunteers who help with the program make it a success.

Helping with the program is the Howland High School Interact Club, which earn community service hours when students help sort and bag food items for the backpack program.

The backpacks are given to children on Fridays so they have food on weekends when they do not have school breakfast or lunches.

”We want to make sure no children go hungry on the weekends,”Mease said.