Hundreds of children fed through Buddy Pack Program

The "Buddy Packs" are a supplement for elementary students who rely on subsidized lunches throughout the school week. (Louis Finley/KTVO)

Volunteers at a warehouse on Hickory Street in Kirksville prepare "Buddy Packs" throughout the school year. The bags are filled with "kid-friendly" nutritious items, which help combat food insecurity in elementary schools across northeast Missouri.

Schools disperse these packs to children on Fridays for the weekend. The packs are a supplement for students who rely on subsidized lunches throughout the school week.

"The kids love it. They're excited because we sit them in the back pack and they're so happy," Novinger School teacher Kayla Lawson.

According to the Food Bank for Northeast Missouri, "one in five children face hunger on a regular basis."

Regional Director Cheri Coin said that number is as high as one in three children in some areas these packs will go to.

"We put out about 1300 packs out every month," Coin said.

The volunteer efforts are led by Truman State University students Jace Galang and Kiley Vinyard. They are chiefly responsible for gathering volunteers and filling the packs.

"I've had the opportunity to work with the buddy pack program before, and my experience with it has always been really fun and really fulfilling," Vinyard said.

"I'm not just sending emails or making phone calls and organizing events. I'm in here, I'm working, I'm staking palettes, I'm counting bags," Galang said.

To learn ways to volunteer contact Regional Director of the Food Bank for Northeast Missouri Cheri Coin at

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off