McDonald County 4Kids Plans Food Packages For Holidays
The holidays can be a stress on the cupboard. Financial strains can hamper food availability for McDonald County children and families.
One local organization helps those children throughout the year with a special focus around the holidays.
McDonald County 4Kids coordinator Deborah Pearson said the nonprofit organization helps feed 300 children each week.
“If you’re hungry, you don’t learn,” Pearson said.
As principal of Noel Primary School, Pearson sees a variety of different countries represented in Noel. Making sure that all families understand the importance of school attendance, then properly equipping children to learn, is important, she said.
Each school sends 30 packages of food home to children weekly.
Volunteers also extend food packages to the families of children. Family members often don’t have enough food to eat.
“We feed our families,” Pearson said.
During this time of year, local cupboards — and the 4Kids food supply — are tapped. Around the holidays, organizers and volunteers pack quite a bit of extra supplies into the packages.
Organizers believe, however, they are on their way to being well-stocked, thanks in part to a recent fundraiser and a local food drive.
Retired art teacher Charlene Bergen recently led a painting class, with participants creating a colorful, fall painting featuring pumpkins. “She is a pretty amazing lady,” Pearson said. “It was a really fun time and they all turned out great.”
Bergen chooses an organization to support each month and helped the 4Kids group by hosting the painting instruction.
The extra $500 raised will help secure more food purchases, Pearson said.
The organization also has received an influx with the help from a recent food donation drive. Pearson said the response for help is better received with specific requests.
“People have been very generous,” she said. “This community has such a giving heart. We are very blessed.”
Volunteers are scheduled to pack up the food packages on Nov. 15, right before students leave for the Thanksgiving break.
Anyone wanting to donate food items is welcome to do so. Food items not distributed this time around will be utilized for the upcoming Christmas break, she said.
To donate, contact Pearson at the Noel Primary School, 417-475-3900.
Retired art teacher Charlene Bergen leads a fall painting class as a fundraiser for MC4Kids in Noel. The $500 raised will help secure additional food staples for local families over the holiday season. Food donations are still be accepted at any local school.
Budding artists learn the intricacies of painting colorful pumpkins during a recent MC4Kids fundraiser in Noel. Retired art teacher Charlene Bergen gave the participants tips in creating a fall painting.