Bountiful LDS mothers, daughters help collect, assemble food packs for children

Published: Saturday, April 19 2014 5:00 a.m. MDT

Activity Day girls and their mothers from the Bountiful Utah Heights Stake helped to assemble 700-plus Pantry Packs on Thursday, April 17.

Provided by Lorna Koci

BOUNTIFUL — Activity Day girls and their mothers from the Bountiful Utah Heights Stake helped to assemble 700-plus Pantry Packs on Thursday, April 17, that will be distributed to at-risk children in Davis County through the Bountiful Community Food Pantry during coming weeks.

Ann Hutchings, Bountiful Heights Stake Primary president, and Stephanie Jones, Bountiful Heights Stake Primary counselor, worked with stake Activity Days girls, who are 8 to 11 years old, to collect specific items for the packs and filled more than 700 Pantry Packs. The items they collected weighed 1,544 pounds.

At their event, Be a Paper Bag Princess, mothers and daughters assembled the Pantry Packs, learned about how their service was helping other children in their community, made crafts and took photos of each other at their Service Photo Booth.

"Service is something we want our girls to understand and integrate into their lives," said Jones when addressing participants.

Lorna Koci, executive director of the Bountiful Community Food Pantry, told the girls about how their service will help other children in their community.

The Pantry Packs are filled with "child friendly" food items weighing 2-3 pounds. Of the 10 to 12 items in each Pantry Pack, there is shelf-stable milk, instant-oatmeal packets, fruit cups, an orange or apple, raisins and microwaveable meals.

Coordinated by the Bountiful Community Food Pantry, 290 Pantry Packs are distributed each Friday by seven elementary schools to children who need food assistance during the weekend. These children receive breakfast and lunch at school during the week through a program that provides free or reduced-price meals.

Currently there are 11,000 elementary school children in Davis County who qualify for free- and reduced-lunch assistance, according to information from the pantry. These children represent 28 percent of elementary school enrollment. It is estimated that 70 percent of these children are at risk of hunger over the weekend, making 7,700 children who need help with food assistance, according to information from the pantry.

Pantry Pack food items come from food purchased by the Bountiful Community Food Pantry as well as donations from the community including Eagle Scout projects, according to information from the pantry officials. Filled and assembled Pantry Packs have been donated by Relief Society groups, Primary children, families, schools and other service organizations. Other food items are purchased using financial donations that are made to the Bountiful Community Food Pantry. Many Pantry Pack supplies have also been donated by local community organizations such as the Rotary Club and Lions Club.

For information on the Pantry Pack program and other ways to help others in Davis County, call Koci at 801-299-8464 or email lornakoci@bountifulfoodpantry.org.

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