December 11, 2018

Entire Golden Community Honored for Backpack Program

Last week I had the exciting privilege of accepting a District Rotary Club award on behalf of the entire Golden community for our exceptional Backpack Program.  The Backpack Program tackles head on a rarely discussed but critical problem: if kids are hungry or undernourished, they aren’t likely to perform as well in school.  My view on this is pretty simple: every kid ought to have a fair shake at success in school and in life.  What they do with that opportunity is up to them, but as a community we should work to make sure they all have a fair shot.  It turns out that hundreds of kids in Golden area schools live in homes with low enough incomes that they aren’t able to get enough – or nutritious enough – food.  Enter Peggy Halderman and many of her Golden Rotary colleagues, who catalyzed the program now providing 250 Golden area kids with supplemental food.  Peggy received a Mayor’s Award for Excellence last December for her incredible work building the Backpack Program and organizing such a broad community response, which now includes support from dozens of volunteers, the Golden Family of Churches Health Ministry, and others.

At our City Council meeting on Thursday night, we’ll take a few minutes to formally recognize this new award and for City Council to formally accept it.

Golden’s Backpack Program: Helping Kids in Need

One of the great joys of living in Golden is the remarkable way in which, at every turn, you stumble on yet another individual, or another group, doing something amazing to improve their neighborhood or our entire community.  The Backpack Program is one of many, many examples.  Peggy Halderman discovered – much to her dismay – that there as many as 500 kids in Golden area schools that qualify for supplemental food on the weekends during the school year.  She did something about it.  Modeling her effort after Backpack Program efforts all over the country, Peggy and the Golden Rotary Club worked with Bell Middle School and the Developmental Disabilities Resource Center to launch a pilot last fall and served an average of 45 kids in need every week this school year.  At the end of every week, the program provides qualified kids – those who are likely experiencing persistent hunger issues at home, often because of very limited family incomes – with sacks of food to help keep the kids healthy and well-fed through the weekend.  Peggy and her partners are now collaborating with the Golden Family of Churches Health Ministry to expand the program to help hungry kids at Pleasant View and Welchester Elementary Schools.  Kudos to Peggy, the Rotary Club, and everyone else working on this very worthwhile project.

Golden's Backpack Program: Helping Kids in Need

One of the great joys of living in Golden is the remarkable way in which, at every turn, you stumble on yet another individual, or another group, doing something amazing to improve their neighborhood or our entire community.  The Backpack Program is one of many, many examples.  Peggy Halderman discovered – much to her dismay – that there as many as 500 kids in Golden area schools that qualify for supplemental food on the weekends during the school year.  She did something about it.  Modeling her effort after Backpack Program efforts all over the country, Peggy and the Golden Rotary Club worked with Bell Middle School and the Developmental Disabilities Resource Center to launch a pilot last fall and served an average of 45 kids in need every week this school year.  At the end of every week, the program provides qualified kids – those who are likely experiencing persistent hunger issues at home, often because of very limited family incomes – with sacks of food to help keep the kids healthy and well-fed through the weekend.  Peggy and her partners are now collaborating with the Golden Family of Churches Health Ministry to expand the program to help hungry kids at Pleasant View and Welchester Elementary Schools.  Kudos to Peggy, the Rotary Club, and everyone else working on this very worthwhile project.