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Farm Bureau seeks help feeding hungry children

BARNESVILLE — Belmont County Farm Bureau is raising funds to provide packaged meals to be used by four schools in Belmont County that have expressed a need.

The school districts are Barnesville, Bellaire, St. Clairsville and Union Local. This backpack food program provides food for needy students to take home for the weekend. To date, a total of $18,285 has been donated by 80 businesses, organizations and individuals. With five weeks remaining until the June 1 deadline, the farm bureau is reminding everyone there is still time to make a donation.

Organizers said 100 percent of the donations will be used to purchase bulk ingredients from the nonprofit group The Outreach Program. Each of the two different vitamin and mineral fortified, protein rich, hot meal varieties contain six servings, with a cost of $1.80 per meal. The meals to be distributed are macaroni and cheese dinner made with real cheese, and apple cinnamon oatmeal. A donation of $100 would provide 333 servings. After the meals are packaged, they will be stored and distributed according to each school’s need for their number of backpacks. Currently the number of backpacks prepared by the four schools totals 293 weekly.

Belmont County Farm Bureau will be hosting a COVID-compliant meal packaging event at noon June 26 and at 1 p.m. June 27 at The Rock gymnasium, located at 440 Watt Ave., Barnesville. All individuals or groups are welcome to come and participate at the packaging event.

“It will be an amazing and life changing opportunity to help hungry kids have a hot meal to eat,” the bureau states in a news release.

To donate, checks may be made out to Belmont County Farm Bureau and mailed to 100 Colonel Drive, Barnesville, OH 43713. Call the farm bureau office at 740-425-3681 for credit card donations. All amounts are welcome with 100 percent of donations going to the meals. The Outreach Program is a 501(c)3 organization that qualifies for tax deductible donations. All who contribute will receive a letter from The Outreach Program with an explanation of their donation for tax purposes.

If you have any questions about donating or helping at the packaging event, call Belmont County Farm Bureau or event coordinator Devin Cain at 740-391-0869.

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