Many children across the country who rely on free school lunch and breakfast programs in order to eat on a daily basis, are left hungry once the weekend starts. Unfortunately, Southwest Washington is no different. As the school year kicks off the Backpack Program of Pacific County is in need of donations to help meet the upcoming rush of students who need help with basic needs to get their school year started on the right foot.
While contributing to such a worthy cause is rewarding on its own, those who give $5 between today and Wednesday, August 23 will be entered to win two tickets to the August 25th Seattle Seahawks preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Century Link Field in Seattle. For every $5 donated people will receive one entry into the ticket drawing.
Members and non-members can contribute in person at any of the credit union’s branches in Astoria, Warrenton, Clatskanie, Vernonia, St. Helens and Scappoose, as well as the Mortgage Origination Office in Long Beach. Members can even call the Wauna Credit Union Communication Center and have a Member Consultant transfer money directly to The Backpack Program.
Wauna Credit Union recognized the need the Backpack Program filled in the community and wanted to help. The credit union, with branches in Long Beach, Astoria, Warrenton, Clatskanie, Vernonia, St. Helens and Scappoose made the Backpack Program of Pacific County its official charity for the year, and throughout the year fundraises for the organization in many different ways. Employees donate a portion of every paycheck to the Backpack program, have drawings for Trailblazer games, Seahawks and even sell Tillamook pepperoni and beef jerky with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the charity.
“Being hungry makes learning that much harder,” said Natalie Hanson, Backpack Program Co-Founder, “We’re really thankful that Wauna Credit Union continues to be involved. In addition to their support, they are offering to be a collection point for members of the community.”
WCU has been successful so far, raising $7319 of its $12,000 goal for 2017, which has already helped to provide 200 children weekend meals for 12 weeks. Wauna Credit Union is actively soliciting contributions at all branches across Columbia and Clatsop counties in Oregon, and Pacific County in Washington.
“One of Wauna Credit Union’s core values is to be ambassadors in our communities and beyond,” said Jenifer Katon at Wauna Credit Union. “I cannot think of a better way to do that than through the Backpack Program. It serves the most underserved and vulnerable members of our communities. I am so thrilled to be able to give back to our communities through this program.”
More help is always needed in our area. According to Feeding America, the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States, 15.7 percent of Pacific County residents are food insecure, with many of the most vulnerable being children. The Backpack Program of Pacific County serves students at Long Beach Elementary, Ocean Park Elementary, Hilltop School, Ilwaco High School and Ocean Beach Alternative School for a total of over 200 kids per week.