Backpack food drive collects 12K items

Members of the Women’s Leadership Initiative and Austin High School Student Council teamed up to collect food and cash donations to benefit the WLI Weekend Food Backpack program. The program collected over 12,000 food items.

Members of the Women’s Leadership Initiative and Austin High School Student Council teamed up to collect food and cash donations to benefit the WLI Weekend Food Backpack program. The program collected over 12,000 food items.

The second annual Women’s Leadership Initiative Weekend Food Backpack Food Drive collected more than 12,000 food items.

Members of the Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) and Austin High School Student Council teamed up for the drive.

Andrea Malo, student council advisor, said AHDS students have a tradition of helping the community and holding a food drive during homecoming week.

Members of the Women’s Leadership Initiative and Austin High School Student Council teamed up to collect food and cash donations to benefit the WLI Weekend Food Backpack program. The program collected over 12,000 food items. Photo provided

Members of the Women’s Leadership Initiative and Austin High School Student Council teamed up to collect food and cash donations to benefit the WLI Weekend Food Backpack program. The program collected over 12,000 food items. Photo provided

“We were really happy to partner with WLI again on this event and pleased with the effort by students at Austin High. They are a really great group of kids,” Malo said in a press release.

The WLI Weekend Food Backpack program provides easy-to-prepare food for children and their siblings who are identified as being food insecure at Southgate Elementary School, Woodson Kindergarten Center, I.J. Holton Intermediate School, Grand Meadow Schools, Southland Schools and LeRoy schools.

“By providing a few food items for kids over the weekend we are helping struggling families make ends meet and ensure children are being fed. It’s just that simple,” Stacy Edland, WLI Chairperson, said in a press release.

AHS Student Council also donated food to the Salvation Army that wasn’t suitable for the backpack program (items like canned vegetables and pasta sauce).

Students and WLI members also collected donations at Hy-Vee and Jim’s Marketplace.

The Women’s Leadership Initiative is open to all women in Mower County. People interested in learning more or joining can visit the United Way of Mower County’s website at www.uwmower.org/wli.

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