MANKATO, MN (June 8, 2016) – Feeding Our Communities Partners (FOCP) is pleased to welcome Sheri Sander-Silva as its new executive director. Sander-Silva joins the organization after serving as associate director of the YWCA, where she worked for the past 14 years.
“I have long admired the work of FOCP and the important role it serves within our community,” said Sander-Silva. “I am incredibly excited to join the organization in serving its mission to end hunger locally. I look forward to continuing the momentum that has already been built by this amazing organization to create lasting social change.”
Sander-Silva is an experienced non-profit leader with over a decade of proven experience in building and sustaining quality programming that fulfills unmet community needs. In her most recent role at the YWCA, she managed organizational operations, finances, marketing, human resources, fundraising activities, and programming for girls.
FOCP runs the BackPack Food Program which discreetly provides low-income students with packs of well-balanced, child-friendly meals to take home for weekends and other scheduled days off from school. “We are so pleased to have Sheri on board,” said incoming board chair, DeeDra Vosburg. “Her skill set and passion for doing good in the community are sure to be a winning combination for FOCP.”
Sander-Silva has developed and directed several programs and led the integration of the national Girls on the Run and Girls Inc. programs into the Greater Mankato community. She is the current board chair of Leisure Education for Exceptional People (LEEP), is a board member of Project for Teens (P4T) and Dream Closet, serves on several committee/focus groups, and actively volunteers for other area organizations. One of Sheri’s favorite mottos is “Do what you love and love what you do.”
Sander-Silva will begin her new role at FOCP in mid-July.
MANKATO, MN (June 3, 2016) - Archer Daniels Midland Company recently donated $6,000 to Feeding Our Communities Partners (FOCP). The donation will go toward funding the BackPack Food Program.
”This kind of support allows us to feed hungry tummies on the weekend so that teachers can feed their minds on Monday morning,” said Kristin Weeks-Duncanson, FOCP board chair. “This grant helps us to maintain the program and to be a source of hunger-relief for the students who rely on it.”
The BackPack Food Program discreetly provides low-income students with packs of well-balanced, child-friendly meals to take home for weekends and scheduled school breaks. Launched in March 2010, enrollment currently exceeds 940 students at all fifteen public elementary schools in Blue Earth County and North Mankato. During the 2015-16 school year, the program was able scale its reach to include the three additional school districts of Mapleton, St. Clair, and Lake Crystal.
The donation was given through ADM Cares. ADM Cares is a social investment program that directs funds to initiatives and organizations that drive meaningful social, economic and environmental progress worldwide. The program comprises three distinct focus areas: supporting the responsible development of agriculture, improving the quality of life in ADM communities and fostering employee giving and volunteer activities.
Thanks to the Mankato Clinic Foundation, Feeding Our Communities Partners (FOCP) is receiving $5,000 to be used for the BackPack Food Program.
“This funding is essential to sustaining the program that our community has helped to build,” said Kristin Weeks-Duncanson, board chair for Feeding Our Communities Partners. “We are meeting the needs of local, hungry kids every week and grants like this help to fund that process. When we bring this program to a school, we do so with the promise that we are there to stay. The Mankato Clinic Foundation is helping us keep that promise with this funding.”
Currently, the BackPack Food Program provides a weekend’s worth of well-balanced, easy-to-prepare meals and snacks to over 940 students in all fifteen elementary schools in Blue Earth County and North Mankato. Volunteers assemble ziptop bags with breakfast, lunch and snacks and then deliver the food packs to schools every Thursday. Teachers discreetly distribute the food packs to students on Fridays. Food packs are also provided for extended school breaks such as Winter Break and Spring Break. Over the course of the school year, the program provides approximately 210 meals and 105 snacks to each participating student.
The Mankato Clinic Foundation provides resources to organizations and endeavors that effectively promote and improve community health and wellness. Since the primary focus of the Foundation is to support the health and well-being of the community, projects and programs supported include education and scholarship initiatives focused on health care, health education and wellness.
The physicians at the Mankato Clinic provide the majority of the Foundation funding as a means to give back to the community by providing support to organizations which strive to improve health and wellness. Grants are awarded on a quarterly basis and are considered only through the application process. Applications can be obtained at mankatoclinic.com.
About the Mankato Clinic Foundation: The mission of the Mankato Clinic Foundation is to encourage and support the health and well-being of our community through initiatives that promote and improve community wellness. Annual initiatives made possible by the Mankato Clinic Foundation include community grants, scholarships for students pursuing careers in health, Project Kindness and Partnership in Health in Greater Mankato schools.
MANKATO, MINN. — Climbers at the third annual Climb 2 Feed Kids fundraiser at Bresnan Arena on the campus of Minnesota State University raised $47,982.32 for the Back Pack Food Program. Read the full Mankato Times article here.
MANKATO — For teachers from Mankato's public elementary schools, strapping on a small yellow backpack and running up and down 768 stairs is a no-brainer.
Climb 2 feed Kids stepped their way up thousands of stairs starting early Sunday morning at Mankato State University.Communications Coordinator for Backpack Food Program says, "The Climb 2 Feed Kids is our annual fundraiser event. This is our third year that we are doing this; we raise funds for the Backpack Food Program. It helps with operations and making sure that we are getting the food into backpacks for kids on weekends who are hungry."
Climb 2 feed kids received aisle sponsors, supporting sponsors, prize sponsors, as well as entertainment and media sponsors, but what stood out was the school participation. View full story here: http://www.keyc.com/story/30930119/climb-2-feed-kids-thousands-of-steps-taken
MANKATO, MINN. — With Winter Break just around the corner for school students, Feeding Our Communities Partners’ (FOCP) BackPack Food Program conducted its annual distribution of food boxes to children enrolled in the program this past Wednesday (12/16) and Thursday (12/17). Boxes were packed with enough food to provide breakfast, lunch, and a snack for each of the 12 days that students are not in school during the upcoming break. Read the full Mankato Times article here.
MANKATO, MINN. — Hy-Vee and Minnesota 93 Radio are partnering for the sixth year to sponsor “Hy-$5 for BackPack,” an in-store donation program that benefits the BackPack Food Program. Read more from the Mankato Times here.
Wilbur Neushwander-Frink is one of two Minnesotans receiving the 2015 Virginia Mcknight Binger Unsung Hero Award. Along with other community organizations, Wilbur has been a great supporter of the BackPack Food Program. Read more about her life changing work here.
Feeding Our Communities Partners (FOCP), the nonprofit organization that oversees the BackPack Food Program, recently released data from a series of surveys distributed to students enrolled in the program as well as to parents and teachers with enrolled children. The findings reveal insight about local families who look to programs, such as BackPack, for food assistance. Survey results also allow the staff, board of directors, and programming committee members to reflect upon the program’s current impact and identify opportunities for improvement, to address assumptions about food insecurity, and to consider how future programs may be structured and implemented. See the Mankato Times full article here: http://mankatotimes.com/2015/08/28/survey-shows-backpack-food-program-has-positive-impact/