Backpack caring

In a nation where obesity is an epidemic, and most of us have an abundance of food, it’s hard to imagine that many people go hungry.

That’s why a federal report earlier this month was so startling. It said that one in seven families in the United States struggle with hunger issues or food insecurity.

In Colorado, the numbers are a little better — one in eight households face food insecurity. But there are still many who don’t have enough to eat.

Grand Junction resident Mike Berry encountered that fact a few years ago when he ran into a young girl on her way to school whose family slept in a car and had little to eat.

Unlike many of us who simply shake our heads upon learning of such misfortune, Berry decided to do something to help. After first volunteering at soup kitchens, he and his wife, Debbie, helped create a nonprofit group called Kids Aid.

The organization provides backpacks full of food for needy children to take home on weekends, ensuring many get nutrition that they might not otherwise receive.

The program will soon celebrate its second year. Its food storage has outgrown its original quarters and will soon move into a new, climate-controlled warehouse.

We congratulate Berry and his wife and all the others who have donated time, money and goods to make this program work. In a season of giving, they epitomize selfless care for others.

The weekend backpacks of food go to children at several elementary and middle schools in School District 51, but the program is unable to meet all of the needs in the district. Furthermore, its financial stability is guaranteed only through February.

If you would like to help, monetary donations can be sent to Kids Aid, P.O. Box 2569, Grand Junction, Colo., 81502. Call Mike Berry at 985-5965 or e-mail him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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