From Mark Hoskins, Manchester Enterprise
In September you sent us a packet detailing how it was Hunger Action Month. I read through what you sent and started gathering some story ideas to bring awareness to our readers.
The first story we published was on our local senior citizens center and their program for feeding the elderly in Clay County. The story detailed how dependent our elderly population is on this program and how the center was battling state budget cuts each year to keep the program going.
Our second story published detailed what is called the Backpack Program in Clay County. This program is coordinated by our nine family resource centers at the schools. Each Friday, bags of food are sent home with underprivileged children to help feed them through the weekend. Like the elderly, this program battles budget cuts and we told stories from each resource center director about how the children came to them wanting the food and even asked for extra to feed their siblings.
Both of these stories were real eye-opening experiences to not only our readers, but to myself also. At the end of each story we gave contact information for the agencies and said if you’d like to help to please contact them.
The school’s have received over $2,000 in donations for the Backpack programs and the school system is now offering all their staff the opportunity to have $1 per paycheck deducted to go towards the program.
The Senior Citizen’s Center told us they’ve had over 50 entities call and offer them support with financial donations and monthly pledges of support to help feed the elderly.
Both the school systems and the senior citizen’s center have sent us thank you notes and emails expressing how much they appreciate what we did for them and how the financial support they’ve received is helping feed hungry souls.
These two success stories tell me one thing— PEOPLE STILL READ NEWSPAPERS!! These stories made an impact on our readers! These two worthy causes are now receiving some much needed help because the KPA took the time to distribute the material to their members and we took the time to review it and make the decision to use this opportunity as a way to help our community.
There will always be a place in our communities for local newspapers if we take the time to focus on what the needs of our communities are. I appreciate you all sending us this packet as we were able to use it to help two very worthy causes in our area.