The Junior League of Owensboro presented a $10,000 check this afternoon to Independence Bank in support of the Bank’s Business for Backpacks program.
Business for Backpacks is a collaboration between Chamber Young Professionals and Independence Bank that helps feed children in our community during the weekends and summer months when free and reduced-price school lunches and breakfasts are not available. (Read more here.)
Today’s donation, which is part of the Junior League’s Community Impact Grant, is enough to add another 200 children to the program. “As of today, we’re confident there are no more children on the waiting list,” said Cindy Morgan, who along with three other Independence Bank employees came up with the idea for Business for Backpacks in January of 2014.
Speaking on behalf of those employees, Cindy said, “We love that we work for a company that wants to give back to the community and these kids as much as we do.” Morgan’s church also supports a similar backpack program. When she realized there were several kids on the waiting list, she and her coworkers took the idea to adopt some of those kids on the waiting list to Independence Bank. “It was the Bank’s idea to find something you’re passionate about and give back. So we did.”
Business for Backpacks started with 30 kids. Since then, the program has grown to 289 kids a week among 12 different schools.
Make that 489 children, thanks to the Junior League of Owensboro’s gift.
Bank employees figure it costs about $50 per year to feed a child throughout the school year. “We’ve got this down to a science,” Morgan said. “We find food on sale. We work with the school’s Family Resources to find out what the kids want and will actually eat because we want them to be happy.”
Over the past three years, other people in the community have supported Business for Backpacks as well. When the Chamber Young Professionals (CYP) heard about the program, their philanthropy committee decided to partner with Independence Bank in their efforts. Past CYP Chair, Jennnifer Keller, is also the President-elect of Junior League and took the idea of a partnership to them.
“The Junior League funds several community grants throughout the year,” said current Junior League President, Katie Burlew, “So when Jennifer approached the Junior League we decided to support it. This fits naturally with other ways we contribute to the community.”
The Junior League’s signature event, the 51st Annual Charity Ball, is this Saturday night. Read about last year’s Charity Ball here.