Two hundred backpacks, boxes of ramen noodles and tables of pencils and notebooks and other elementary school supplies were packed Sunday night by a group of volunteers.
Foundation 4Life distributors from across the county gathered at the ATEAM All-Stars Leadership Center, 1188 Medina Road, Sharon Township, to bag supplies for the start of the school year.
Janice Skeen, owner of the leadership center, said hundreds of supplies were donated by Foundation 4Life and its distributors from around the area.
Along with the school supplies were tables of food like soup, macaroni and cheese and snack items.
The 4Life distributors meet biweekly to bag the food and will distribute it every week to the elementary schools for at-risk children.
Skeen said last year the supplies and food were donated to Medina Schools, but this year Barberton elementary schools have greater need.
“Barberton schools are at 88 percent for at-risk children who struggle with hunger,” she said. “Medina’s at 17 percent.”
Skeen said in two months the volunteers also will distribute 2,500 bags of the 4Life product Fortify to schools in Medina and Summit counties.
Fortify is a rice-and-beans mixture that acts as a vitamin supplement and immune system balancer for children.
“We do this to make a difference in the lives of the community and the world,” Skeen said. “I don’t sleep at night knowing that some kid is hungry.”
Nathan Kievman, a 4Life distributor from Copley Township, was helping to fill backpacks Sunday.
“We have a lot of blessings in our lives and to know that there are kids in the community struggling with hunger is unacceptable,” he said. “So, whatever we can do to help we will.”
Contact reporter Katie Anderson at (330) 721-4012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.