The Fordland Care to Learn ended off 2020 on a positive note, thanks to a $1,000 grant.  

Through the Walmart Giving grant, the chapter was able to purchase food for its weekend food bags, which are sent home with children in Fordland.

"We applied about a month ago online," said Becky Haynes, liaison of the Fordland Care to Learn chapter. "Walmart has an easy process and you can apply once a year."

Haynes said the Fordland Care to Learn chapter had sent home shelf stable, kid-friendly food items every weekend with about 50 children in 2020.

"Our weekend food bags include two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners, two fruits and two snacks," she said. "Things like ravioli, granola bars, fruit cups, soup and trail mix."

This is the chapter’s biggest expense, but it helps with any health, hunger, hygiene issue, which is what the chapter stands for.

"It also helps with eye glasses examinations, beds, clothing and electric bills," she said.

The chapter spends between $18,000 to $30,000 every year since its establishment in 2011, according to Haynes. She added there has been a decrease in parents who signed their children up for the Care to Learn weekend food bags in 2020.

"There are so many organizations giving food away with the pandemic this year," said Haynes. "I'm assuming that is why there is less need. We are pretty blessed in this area that many of our families kept their jobs."

Aside from the weekend food items, the Fordland Care to Learn chapter helps purchase clothing, hygiene items, such as soap, laundry soap, feminine hygiene and shampoo.

"We just brought in an exterminator for a family," said Haynes. "We also purchased beds, paid electric bills, doctor bills, eyeglasses and firewood. Anything related to health, hunger and hygiene issues."

For the new year, Haynes said she hopes they can have in person events again, including chili suppers, auctions and fundraisers.

"These are events we were not able to have this year due to COVID," she said. "Our goal is to always be able to help our kids be able to learn and enjoy school without the worry of every day things like if they have food or be embarrassed about their clothing." 

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