I am a childless American. While all you parents were getting your kids school supplies and taking the most adorable back-to-school photos I have ever seen in my life, I was working at home, hanging out with my fur-child, and thinking about how with the new school year comes kids in need, and the need for healthy snacks for kids.
I believe every child who is born in this world deserves to be loved, educated and nourished – no matter what their background is. I also know that in my area and in other places across the nation, many schoolchildren lack food security at home. Often the only meals they get during the day are school breakfasts and lunches. Here in northwest Arkansas, local school districts work with a local charity that makes sure these children go home with a backpack full of healthy snacks that will sustain them through the weekend.
Throughout Arkansas and south Missouri, you can now go to your local Walmart and easily donate excellent, fueling snacks for kids in your local schools thanks to a partnership with some wonderful brands and Champions For Kids through its SIMPLEGiving project.
Last night I had the pleasure of taking a trip to my local Walmart, where I instantly saw a donation box for items. This is how it looks; and it’s located at the main entrance(s) to the store.
Right behind it, you’ll find a pallet with lots of non-perishable, healthy snacks that will sustain a kid during the weekend.
The pallet includes Dole Fruit Snacks, Dole Squish ‘ems, Emerald Almond mixes, Dasani Drops, Powerade Drops and Kellogg’s fruit snacks. Not only do these nourish a child, but they also take common food allergies to peanuts and gluten into consideration. This is something very important to remember if you’re purchasing food to donate to kids.
At the pallet at my store, nothing was more than $3.78, which makes it very easy to purchase a good amount of food to last a kid through the weekend. The Kellogg’s Fruit Snacks – which contain only 70 calories – and Dole Fruit bowls – which are excellent fruit snacks for on-the-go – are the cheapest, at $2. I was on a budget of $25 and managed to get all the products you see below:
That’s a pretty full cart! Keep in mind that although the Dasani and Powerade Zero concentrates are the most expensive products, they will last a child quite a while. Each bottle of Dasani Drops makes 32 8-oz servings – a great value. The Powerade Zero is also a great value – each 3 oz. bottle makes 24 servings! All of the other products come in multiple servings – four at a minimum.
The 100-calorie packs of Emerald Nuts are excellent, come in different varieties (I managed to snag some cocoa-roasted almonds that some kid is going to LOVE) – and are an excellent way to keep fueled between meals.
When I went to check out, my arms were loaded so I couldn’t grab any photos, but my cashier asked, “Buying healthy snacks?” I told him I was making a donation to the Champions for Kids box and he thanked me. When he said he’d guessed I either had kids or was donating to the CFK box, I explained to him, “I don’t have kids, so I have a little extra to spend on other kids who need things.”
Here’s my receipt. Just a little over $2 over my budget. Not too shabby for all that food I got, eh?
When I gathered my bag and put it into the donation box, I was glad I didn’t have to hear a loud “thud!” when I dropped it in. I’m so glad to see people in my community helping this very important cause.
If you live in Arkansas or south Missouri, you can participate in this drive from now through Sept. 8. For more information, visit the Champions for Kids SIMPLEGiving site.
If you don’t live in these areas, go to your local Walmart, get some of these items and take them to a local school. I can guarantee you SOMEONE will make sure they go to children who need them.