The Lake of the Ozarks Harley Owners Group Chapter #1888 presented representatives of School of the Osage and Eldon School District with 1,000 food items donated by its own chapter members on June 18 at a “bike night” event. Chapter Director Ed Dobson said, “Our chapter wants to contribute to the community and help kids at the same time. We feel the Buddy Pack program is such a worthwhile cause and want to help keep this program in the public’s awareness.”
The Missouri Food Bank partners with elementary schools to assist children in families that qualify for free and reduced-priced meals. Buddy Packs are backpacks filled with kid-friendly, nutritious food that students take home over the weekends or holiday periods to supplement their meals when there is not enough food for them to eat at home. After the weekend, the kids bring their empty backpack back to school where it is refilled by local volunteers. It costs about $180 to provide one school child with a Buddy Pack for the entire year.
The local Harley Owners Group Chapter #1888 chose the Buddy Pack program as their charitable focus for 2013. Over the last few months, chapter members have been purchasing food items such as peanut butter crackers and canned vegetables, fruit and meats. Now that 1,000 food items have accumulated, the chapter presented its donation to Buddy Pack representatives on June 15. The Chapter will continue its collections throughout this year.
Kim Bowden, Administrative Manager, was present to represent School of the Osage and Ashley Hanks, who is with the PAVE AmeriCorps program, represented the Eldon School District. “We serve 90 students in lower and upper elementary each week for the Buddy Pack program," Bowden said. "This food will provide nourishment for children to be healthy and happy learners.”
Ashley Hanks is the coordinator who seeks food donations to ensure that Buddy Packs are filled for 230 children in the Eldon School District. They have a volunteer board which works with the Eldon Community Foundation and area churches to collect food donations.
Tony Mellroy, General Manager for Lake of the Ozarks Harley-Davidson, spoke at the presentation. “I’m proud of our H.O.G. chapter members for their caring and generosity. Helping needy kids is a cause that everyone relates to and wants to support.”
More information on the Buddy Pack program is available online at www.sharebringhope.org/adoptabuddy