This past spring in 2020 the Whitley County 4‑H Junior Leaders were all sheltering in place due to the worldwide pandemic. As our group continued to meet virtually we began to talk about the struggles everyone was having and how some things had become very difficult for families.
One area that many Junior Leaders were hearing of was food insecurities in our community. A program called Boomerang Backpacks, which packs snacks and small meals for elementary students once a week and delivers them to the schools at the end of each week, was still operating and trying to fill this need. However, the need had grown by leaps and bounds as many parents were now off work and struggling to provide food for their families since now their kids were home for every meal during the week.
Our Junior Leaders had learned that this group was quickly running out of supplies and money to help meet this growing need in our community. So we wrote this grant asking for $1,000 to help support this organization in order to help with the growing food insecurities in our community.
The Whitley County 4‑H Junior Leaders passed along the $1,000 to Boomerang Backpacks of Whitley County, and one of our Junior Leader families was able to help with unloading the boxes of food that this grant donation helped purchase and then helped pack the bags of snacks and meals that would be passed out to the growing number of families in need.
We are thankful for the Indiana 4‑H Foundation for putting this grant together and the generosity of the Nola Gentry Charitable Trust!
— Todd Geiger, 4‑H Youth Development, Purdue Extension – Whitley County