Belmont County Farm Bureau is currently raising funds to provide packaged meals to be used by four schools in Belmont County that have expressed a need. The schools are Barnesville, Bellaire, St. Clairsville, and Union Local. This backpack food program provides food for needy students to take home for the weekend. The goal set by Belmont County Farm Bureau is $40,000.

To date, $19,394 has been donated by 88 various businesses, organizations and individuals. With six weeks remaining until the June 15 deadline, the Farm Bureau is reminding everyone there is still time to make a donation so the goal may be met.

The $40,000 will be used to purchase bulk ingredients from the Outreach Program. This will then translate to 22,222 meals, with a cost of $1.80 per meal. Each of the three fortified hot meal varieties, Macaroni and Cheese Dinner made with real cheese, Instant Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal, and Minestrone soup, contain six servings. A donation of $100 would provide 300 servings. After the meals are packaged, they will be stored and distributed according to each school’s need for their number of backpacks. Currently the number of backpacks prepared by the four schools totals 260 weekly.

Belmont County Farm Bureau will be hosting a meal packaging event on Saturday, July 20, starting at 1 p.m. at Union Local High School Gymnasium, located at 66779 Belmont Morristown Road, Belmont. All individuals or groups are welcome to come and participate at the packaging event. It will be an amazing and life changing opportunity to help hungry kids have a hot meal to eat.

To donate, checks may be made out to Belmont County Farm Bureau and mailed to 100 Colonel Drive, Barnesville, OH 43713. Contact the Farm Bureau Office at 740-425-3681 for credit card donations. All amounts are welcome with 100 percent of donations going to the meals. The Outreach Program is a 501(c) 3 organization, which qualifies for tax deductible donations. All who contribute will receive a letter from the Outreach Program with an explanation of their donation for tax purposes.

If you have any questions about donations or helping at the packaging event, please contact Belmont County Farm Bureau, 740-425-3681, or the event coordinator Devin Cain, 740-391-0869.