Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter
Fernley students head back to class next week, and the Rotary Club of Fernley’s Food Backpack Program will again be making sure that all students in need will have plenty of food for the weekend.
A donation by Fernley manufacturing company Fortifiber Building Systems Group has the program off to a strong start.
On Aug. 3, Fortifiber president Chris Yount presented Rotary Club president Fran McKay with a check for $5,000 for the club’s Service Above Self Foundation school backpack food drive.
The Backpack Food Program provides food for more than 150 students each Friday during the school year.
The Rotary Club started the Backpack Food Program several years ago by providing food for students in each of the elementary schools and Fernley Intermediate School. Silverland Middle School was added to the program when it opened, and last year, the program also provided food for about 20 students at Fernley High School.
“We were at about 160 kids by the end of last year,” said Brian Roberts, chairman of the Rotary Backpack Committee.
Roberts said the food is delivered to each school in time to be prepared into packs containing about 3,000 calories of food that are put into the student’s backpacks each Friday. The food kits are distributed by the school counselors, and the identities of the participating students are kept confidential.
Fernley Intermediate School has provided the Backpack Food Program with space for storage and assembly of the food packs.
“It would not be possible without (FIS principal) Jacobson,” Roberts said. “It’s the community coming together, Rob Jacobson and the Boys & Girls Club.”
Roberts said it costs $15,000 to $18,000 year to run the program, depending how many students are served.
“This donation will cover us for approximately one-third of the year, and it’s critical,” Roberts said.