A DECADE OF SERVICE TO THE BACKPACK PROGRAM
Shortly after the Great Plains Food Bank began its BackPack Program, Colleen Fowler showed up to help. Nearly 10 years later, Colleen leads the charge as the Great Plains Food Bank’s volunteer BackPack Specialist. Her passion for the program and the children it serves is stronger than ever.
“It is a worthy, very worthy cause,” Colleen says of the program. “Any part of the Great Plains Food Bank is a worthy cause.”
Jenni Monson began the program in 2010 as a community volunteer and invited Colleen to join her a couple years later. For several years, they were the only two volunteers, helping coordinate 200 backpacks for 11 schools each week.
Today, the Great Plains Food Bank Backpack Program serves 125 schools distributing more than 3,000 bags of food to students at risk of chronic hunger each week in the Clay County community — and hundreds more schools statewide.
Thankfully, the number of volunteers running this program has grown alongside the number of children and schools being served — around 10 people now volunteer each week to sort and fill the backpacks with food.
Even during the most challenging months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the dedicated group of volunteers made sure bags of food were packed and ready to meet the nutritional needs of students at risk of hunger.
Colleen, who has four grown sons with her husband[LS1] , says her favorite part of volunteering is “knowing we’re doing something good for the children.”
Our heartfelt thanks go out to Colleen and the entire team of amazing volunteers who make sure kids have enough to eat when they’re away from school. You are truly paving the way for a brighter future for kids in need.