Horizons takes over KidzPacks program

Published: Sep. 28, 2023 at 4:07 AM CDT
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QUINCY (WGEM) - The organization KidzPacks provides snacks to students ages three to 11 who need food over weekend during the school year.

Recently they merged with Horizons Social Services who will work with them in their operations to keep kids fed.

Sarah Stephens, the Executive Director of Horizon’s Social Services said the program’s previous organizer stepped away from KidzPacks for personal reasons. She said the tradition of supporting and feeding kids fits right into Horizons values and the merger presents a great opportunity for both organizations.

“They have a large number of volunteers, again a lot of those volunteers are already Horizons volunteers and we have access to hopefully some new supplies for food sources so we are excited about that,” Stephens said.

Stephens said they have some concerns about the supply of food, as they’ve seen more children needing help. She said they have 1,164 students in the Kidzpacks program this year, which is up from 1,000 last year.

She said they have a good relationship with local food banks and will look into grants to support both their pantry and the KidzPacks program.

KidzPacks volunteer Megan Whitney said the merger with Horizons give them quite a lot, including more food resources, partnerships with food banks and other organizations, and even marketing opportunities to help make more people aware of their mission. She said this comes in handy as there’s more people reaching out for help.

“In 2021 the food insecurity rate in Adams County was 11.5 percent , so that’s over 10 percent of the kids aren’t getting enough to eat,” Whitney said.

QPS school leaders said a lot of children rely on the food from KidzPacks provides.

“Just this little extra edge, the kids can have when they leave us on Friday and come back Monday, some of them, this is a little extra treat, some of them, this is maybe all they have,” Baldwin Elementary principal Jim Sohn said.

Whitney said they serve children ages 3 to 11 in the Quincy area. She said they want to to launch fall campaign where donors can a sponsor a child to support the growing need. She said it costs $2.75 to feed a child for a week, which comes out to a total of $100 for the school year.

To find out how to help KidzPacks, click here.

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