January 29, 2020
The Tiger Packs program is partnering with Hy-Vee for the Food 4 Thought Fundraiser. Tiger Packs is a local backpack program for pre K- 8th grade students in the Grinnell-Newburg school district to help combat hunger. Each week a bag of kid-friendly, nutritious snacks are sent home for the weekend to students who are enrolled in the program. During the month of February, Hy-Vee will sell the Tiger Packs bags in the store and online.
Tiger Packs was started in 2013 with a pilot program at Bailey Park of 12 students. It has since grown to serve over 230 students in the 2019- 2020 school year. Students and families self-identify as being food insecure or they are referred to the program through teachers, counselors, or school administrators. The goal of Tiger Packs is to reduce hunger in students over the weekend and give them an opportunity to perform well in school by eliminating hunger as a distraction from learning. “Grinnell Middle School is fortunate to be able to offer our students food packages for the weekend and also have a stocked food pantry to help meet the needs of students throughout the week thanks to the Tiger Packs program. In addition, we also have fresh fruit delivered to the school to offer the students which is also funded by the Tiger Packs program. Tiger Packs goes above and beyond to help meet the physical needs of our students and we are grateful for their commitment to support our students in this way,” says Amy Miller, Middle School Social Worker and Tiger Packs Advisory Member.
Twice a month 15-20 volunteers gather at the Grinnell Christian Church to package the Tiger Pack bags. Each packaging session lasts about an hour and yields over 450 bags. The volunteers work in an assembly line fashion to fill each Tiger Pack. The typical Tiger Pack contains mainstay items such as, a fruit cup, pudding cup, oatmeal, macaroni and cheese, granola bar, fruit bar, fruit snacks, applesauce and microwave popcorn. Additionally, students receive peanut butter and crackers twice per month and a voucher for a dozen eggs twice per month. The Tiger Packs are then placed in identified student’s backpacks on Fridays before they leave school for the weekend. The program relies on the support of volunteers and donations from community members to be successful.
If you are interested in volunteering, call the Ahrens Foundation Offices at 641-236-5518 or send an email to email@example.com and inquire about Tiger Packs packaging. Tiger Packs is a partner program of the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation.
The fundraiser, Food 4 Thought, is a partnership with the Hy-Vee food store in Grinnell. To support a Grinnell student, visit Hy-Vee in the store or online and select a Tiger Pack bag at checkout; $4.00 for one or $10.00 for three bags. “We are grateful to Hy-Vee for being such a great partner for Tiger Packs and for their willingness to go above and beyond for the students of our community,” says Abby Copeman Petig, Tiger Packs Advisory Member. To give to the Tiger Packs program, stop by Hy-Vee and buy a bag, or three, or visit https://ahrensfamilyfoundation.org/donate-online/ and select Tiger Packs.