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Feeding the hungry: Stark County Sheriff's Office champions social cause

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On Nov, 21, the Starks County Sheriff’s Office volunteered its time to help feed hungry children in the community with Dickinson's Backpack Program.

On Nov, 21, the Starks County Sheriff’s Office volunteered its time to help feed hungry children in the community.

“Maybe a month or two before we started the program, there was a blizzard in Dickinson,” Backpack Program coordinator Kristin Seaks said. “And there was a little boy in maybe the second or third grade who I want to say was on our radar, as far as food insecurity, but he was walking to Walmart in the midst of a snowstorm and the police picked him up and asked him where he was going and he said he was going to Walmart to get food because his family didn't have food. He had no money in his pocket.”

Police gave the boy and his family aid, but situations like this motivated Seaks and others to develop the Dickinson branch of the Backpack Program in January 2014. The organization, which prepares packaged meals for Dickinson and South Heart students from head start to high school, has had approximately 300 children sign up this year alone.

“A lot of those kids, some of the best meals they get are what they get at school, and this kind of gets them through the weekend,” sheriff’s Lt. Eldon Mehrer said of the program. “It’s just a fantastic organization that supports youth in our area. We’re just happy to be a part of that and happy we’re able to come and help out with it.”

The meals, bread, backpacks and snacks come from a variety of local sources, from charity events and donation events to local businesses such as Baker Boy.

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The program convenes to fill the backpacks on most Thursdays during the school year.

More information can be found on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dickinsonbackpackprogram/ .

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