From Aug. 2-9, every dollar donated to The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri’s Buddy Pack program will be doubled by Missouri Employers Mutual as part of the MEM Buddy Pack Match.

Donations can be made at Running shortly before school begins, the campaign will raise funds to pay for packages of food given to children in need every weekend of the school year. The packs are made to provide nutrition when students are without access to school lunches, including items like granola bars and peanut butter.

In 2018, The Food Bank distributed 271,534 pounds of food at 38 Boone County schools through the Buddy Pack program. In Cole County, it was 167,394 pounds in 18 schools, and in Callaway, it was 43,754 pounds in nine schools.

It is the second year of the campaign, and MEM has pledged to match up to $25,000. In addition to raising funds, The Food Bank will be using the campaign to share educators’ viewpoints on the need for Buddy Packs through its Facebook page.

“Kids need nutritious food to pay attention in class, to have energy to play, or to continue to grow. That’s why the Buddy Pack program is so important — it addresses a time when a child may have the lowest access to food,” The Food Bank Executive Director Lindsay Lopez said. “We’re incredibly grateful to Missouri Employers Mutual, and we hope people wanting to address hunger in their community take advantage of this chance to double their donation.”