Food for Kids fundraiser raising money to provide meals for Merrill students

Published: Aug. 13, 2022 at 7:14 PM CDT
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MERRILL, Wis. (WSAW) - The non-profit organization, Food for Kids, is making sure children don’t go hungry this school year.

The organization held a raffle ticket fundraiser at the Northwoods Veterans Post on Saturday. The money will go towards providing meals for students on the weekends.

Food for Kids provides meals for students in grades 4K through 6th grade in the Merrill area.

“We provide meals for children on the weekends during the school year,” said Terra Holdridge, the fundraiser coordinator for Food for Kids.

Last year, the organization provided almost 1,000 meals for students.

“Last year, by the end of the year, we were up to about 245 children in the Merrill School District. So that’s about 960 meals a weekend,” said Holdridge.

Every week a volunteer will pack up the meals and drop them off at the schools.

“It’s all anonymous. The program doesn’t know what kids are involved but then it gets delivered and the school actually handles distributing those out,” said Holdridge.

The organization saw a need to provide means for kids who may otherwise go hungry on the weekends.

“So a lot of the times they have the free and reduced lunch program at school which is great for during the week. Then on the weekends, it’s like what do we do for the kids then,” said Holdridge.

In response, the organization came up with the idea to raise money through a raffle. The money will supply schools with the food to feed children on the weekends.

“We provide breakfast, and lunch for both weekend days, as well as snack and beverages,” said Holdridge.

Saint Stevens United Church of Christ is helping Food for Kids by sponsoring this year’s event.

“It is about a $4,000 to $5,000 a month ministry during the school year, so we have to raise funds and we are here. We thought we’d raise funds and have some fun at the same time,” said Pastor Mike Southcomb, the senior pastor at Saint Stevens United Church of Christ.

Event organizers said the support from the community is priceless.

“The things we do at Saint Steven’s, the things that are done in the other churches in the community wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the generous hearts of the people here in Merrill,” said Pastor Southcomb.

Last year, Food for Kids raised about $5,000 through the fundraiser. This year, they hope to top that amount.

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