Breakfast bags help families during winter break

Source: Oelwein Daily Register, 12/28/16.


Five families in the Oelwein School District are benefiting over winter break from a breakfast bag project created by fellow students. Under the leadership of Lauren Allbritton, FoodCorps AmeriCorps Service member through the NE Iowa Food & Fitness Initiative, a 4-H club was put together at the middle and high school.


The 4-H club addresses needs among families in the district. Allbritton explained students were selected from the club to attend a regional youth leadership team summit held recently in Decorah. The topic at the summit was poverty in communities.


Those attending the summit returned to share what they learned with other club members and formulate some type of project to help. The result of the discussions was the breakfast bag project.


Letters were sent home to families before the winter break asking if they would like to receive breakfast bags or make a monetary donation to the project. Allbritton explained that ideally, the project is for families in need, but the club did not discriminate.


The fledgling project received five request for breakfast bags. Since the project is part of the NE Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative, students stressed the importance of providing healthy items — oatmeal from Cedar Rapids, fresh milk, fresh fruit, etc. They wanted to stay away from sweetened cereals, toaster tarts and other things that are full of sugar.


In total, $60 was donated toward the project and club members were able to spend approximately $12 per bag. Each breakfast bag contained a gallon of milk, a can of quick oats, a bag of pancake mix, a carton of eggs, and an assortment of bananas, apples and oranges.


Allbritton explained the breakfast bags provided a learning process for all students. They had to create a budget and learned how to balance funds for the project, keep track of funds and breakfast supplies and create a report.


“We are hoping to expand the project next year, but this year gave us a great start,” Allbritton said.

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