The striking statistic of 1 in 4 children in the Inland Empire Region living in poverty is borne out daily throughout the Ontario Montclair School District and specifically in Del Norte Elementary School’s enrollment. Because of IEUW Kids Pack weekend food program, fifteen of their students are supported with a bridge of supplemental food to carry them from Friday afternoon through Monday morning.
Kids Pack has made a significant difference in the lives of these families. Here is one of those stories:
New to Del Norte Elementary School this year is a family that recently moved to the area and was living in a Men’s Recovery Shelter, about to transition to outpatient living. Two siblings, a 5th grade girl and a 1st grade boy were being cared for solely by Dad. Mom was in and out of the children’s lives due to addiction struggles of her own. Initially Dad was unemployed and resources were stretched beyond the limit. The children were enrolled in the Kids Pack program to help extend food for them. They were delighted to have their “own” food — something that was solely for them. Not only did they have more food security because of Kids Pack, but the simple backpack of food nourished their spirits as well.
The family is now living on their own, renting a room in a house with access to kitchen privileges. Happily, Dad has secured employment; however, the month is still longer than the income and finances are stretched thin. Kids Pack continues to extend and support meals for them. They are coming to school regularly, making friends, and performing to the best of their ability in school.