HACAP Operation BackPack program curbing local students' hunger

HACAP's Operation BackPack helping to feed the area's youth

In Eastern Iowa 20% of elementary school students at risk for hunger or food insecurity. More than 50 schools throughout the corridor are partnered with the non-profit. Omarion Murray is one of the hundreds students enrolled in the program.

Omarion is a typical 8-year old. He likes to play video games and listen to music.

"What's your favorite subject in school? Uh music," said Omarion Murray.

Omarion lives with his grandmother Louise Murray.

"Omarion, he's a good boy. He really is a good boy."

She takes care of Omarion and four of his siblings. Eight years ago Louise worked two jobs before falling ill and had to stop working.

"I had to get my daughters kids and I didn't know how I was going to it but HACAP really helped me and Taylor really helped me."

Omarion has been enrolled in the program since he was in kindergarten. "You can see the difference when they bring they bag home. That's their bag. They put all they stuff in the refrigerator. That's their bag but we share it," said Murray.

Currently, one in four students is at risk of food insecurity.

"What we like to do is to look for those students with the greatest need," said HACAP's Operation BackPack Program coordinator.

The program partners with local schools and provide food for students who are on free or reduced lunch.

"At some point in case with the BackPack program food is nutrition we would all agree with that's that a fact but at some point because of our being equipped to bundle our services at some point food really does become hope for people," said Goodell.

Louise Murray encourage other parents to step forward if they are having a hard time providing food for their family.

"If you just open your mouth a little bit you are going to get it. You're going to get some help."

If you would like to donate to HACAP's Operation BackPack program, click here.

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