Food bank gearing up for the start of the school year

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Food Finders Food Bank is preparing for a busy month as students get ready to head back to school.

Before the summer ends, Food Finders Food Bank operations manager Kim Motuliak hopes to feed more than 25,000 meals. It’s all part of the summer food program to help feed children during summer vacation.

“The kids are always really happy to see us,” Motuliak said. “It’s a nice addition for the families in the summer to know that, that’s one meal that they don’t have to factor into their budget.”

With the first day of school just around the corner, Motuliak said more families will need assistance.

“It’s really expensive to get kids back in school,” she said. “Even with the book assistance or meal assistance, it’s still an impact on families.”

There’s something else still impacting thousands families across the area. Last November, the Federal Food Assistance Program, or SNAP, was cut by $5 billion. That’s a $3 million loss in Tippecanoe County.

Motuliak said since the cuts, Food Finders has been able to do more for their clients.

“That really benefits them in terms of using their SNAP benefits to their advantage to get more things that maybe we can’t give them,” Motuliak said. “Then being able to use the items that we give them to give them a more well-rounded diet and well-rounded experience in terms of their overall food.”

As the summer wraps up another program will kick off the first Friday of September. Motuliak said the backpack program will feed 4,300 kids a week.

“There are families that use that backpack food to help feed their family from Friday to Monday,” Motuliak said. “Without that there would be significant meals lost to that family during that weekend.”

Motuliak said the food bank is always in need of canned goods to help feed hungry families.

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