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Northwest Community Healthcare donations provide weekend, summer meals to D15 students

Thanks to the generosity of Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH), more District 15 students will be fed during the summer and over the weekends who might otherwise go hungry.

NCH will donate $5,600 to District 15 in 2019 to help combat food insecurity. A $4,000 donation is earmarked for the District 15 Summer Breakfast Program, and $1,600 is pledged to Kimball Hill’s Blessings in a Backpack program.

Fresh oranges NCH also contributed to the District 15 Summer Breakfast Program in 2018, allowing for the purchase of fresh fruits to be served as part of a well-balanced meal from June through August at select locations throughout the community. Fruit will also be purchased with NCH’s contribution in the summer of 2019. Each year, the breakfasts are free and open to the public for all children age 18 and under, regardless of income. In the summer of 2018, more than 11,000 free breakfasts were served.

“We are thankful for the support from NCH,” said Bobbie Desprat, District 15 School Nutrition Services Director. “It was so nice to see the kids’ smiling faces when they were able to pick up a variety of fresh fruits in the morning last summer, and we look forward to that again this year.”

Additionally, NCH chose to donate to Kimball Hill’s Blessings in a Backpack program in 2019, providing food on the weekends for elementary school children in need. Children who qualify for free or reduced-price meals are fed healthy breakfasts and lunches during the school day, but may struggle to obtain healthy meals on Saturdays and Sundays. The Blessings in a Backpack program ensures students get nutritional meals to bridge that gap over the weekends.Kids Hope Volunteers

“Without financial support from Northwest Community Healthcare, we would not be able to continue providing this essential service to our students who need it,” said Kimball Hill Principal Natalie Milo. “We are grateful for the generosity of NCH to keep the program going.”

Currently, Blessings in a Backpack is in place in five District 15 elementary schools, funded entirely through donations from community organizations and individuals. Kimball Hill also receives contributions from Kids Hope to fund its program. The Blessings in a Backpack organization is currently feeding over 87,300 children in nearly 1,092 schools across the country.

“NCH chose these two programs to fund after conducting a community needs assessment,” said Karen Baker, Northwest Community Healthcare Executive Director, Community Services.

Completed bags “We realized that sometimes things come up that we can’t address on our own, and food insecurity came up as one of the biggest community needs. The District 15 Summer Breakfast and Blessings in a Backpack programs tie directly in with ways we’d like to help keep our community healthy.”

Thanks to the generosity of NCH, we will be able to fund these two important programs for another year, combating hunger for our students and families in need.