UWSWLA Volunteers Prepare 5,000 Weekend Food Packs for At-Risk Youth

June 11, 2018, by Tami

Day of Caring for End Child Hunger - VolunteersUnited Way of Southwest Louisiana’s Day of Caring met the goal of making 5,000 Weekend Food Packs for at-risk youth in Calcasieu Parish. This marks the fifth year of the project which has provided 18,000 bags in total as part of the United Against Child Hunger program. “Summer is a critical time for children’s academic and physical well-being, but some Southwest Louisiana kids are falling behind and going hungry during the summer months. For some kids from low-wage families, summer often means the loss of regular breakfasts and lunches,” explains Denise Durel, President and CEO of United Way of SWLA. Each bag contains non-perishable food items and several drinks for children who leave area summer programs and spend the weekend without access to food.

Individual volunteers, companies, organizations and a sorority were spurred into action on Saturday, May 18 in an organized assembly line process to make the packs. Examples of items included were beef jerky, peanuts, cereal and pop-top meals like spaghettios. It took only three hours for the volunteers to assemble 5,000 bags and package them for delivery. The boxes of packs will be donated to the City of Lake Charles and Calcasieu Parish Police Jury for the free summer programs offered for youth.

Without the valuable donations of water, fruit snacks, cereal and many other items from individuals, organizations and companies, United Way of SWLA wouldn’t have the opportunity to provide children with such a valuable resource.

The next action item on the agenda at United Way of SWLA is collecting school supplies for the Shoe Box Project. Pre-packaged sets of school supplies for children in need will be donated to area schools. For more information on United Way of Southwest Louisiana or how you can participate, visit unitedwayswla.org or call 337.433.1088.