The article sparked the Grand Haven woman's interest in the national program, Blessings in a Backpack, which provides students with food for the weekend. Coffin said she felt called to bring the program to Grand Haven.
The program is set to begin at Griffin Elementary School in September, where about 47 percent of the children qualify for the assistance. Families who qualify for the federal free or reduced lunch program can take part in Blessings in a Backpack.
When Coffin began the first steps of getting the program under way, she said she was startled by the number of children who were eligible for it.
“I was oblivious,” she said. “I think I feel like I’ve been called to make it my duty.”
When Coffin approached Griffin Principal Debra Mann about the program, Mann was concerned about privacy issues.
The program is confidential. Volunteers will only know food allergies associated with student numbers, Coffin said.
If parents want their child to participate in the program, they need to fill out a form and indicate any food allergies. Parents who want to enroll their child throughout the year can join the program at any point.
Students will take the bag of food home with them on Friday, and then return with the empty bag on Monday.
To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.
Want to help?
• To donate online, visit blessingsinabackpack.org/donate, select “Other” and specify “Griffin Elementary.”
• To donate by mail, make a check payable to Blessings in a Backpack, and specify “Griffin Elementary” in the check memo. Mail to: Blessings in a Backpack Bank Lockbox, P.O. Box 950291, Louisville, KY 40295.
• For information about volunteering for the program, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
• People can also “like” the "Blessings in a Backpack" Grand Haven page on Facebook.