|Volunteers with the Hungry Kids project pack two breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners every Friday for 376 children in the Humboldt, Prescott and Chino Valley school districts.|
The quad-city area's Hungry Kids program soon will get a much-needed financial lift from a benefit concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 9, at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 630 Park Ave., Prescott.
With the goal of no more hungry children, the Hungry Kids program, now in its fourth year, provides weekend meals for nearly 400 needy schoolhildren in the Humboldt, Chino Valley and Prescott school districts.
The children are eligible for government-provided free breakfasts and lunches at school, but were at risk of going without sufficient food on weekends.
Currently, five teams of volunteers pack two breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners every Friday for 376 children in the three school districts to sustain them until they return to school on Monday.
All the food is purchased through donations from the quad-city communities. The March concert could help greatly toward providing the weekend meals.
Performers will include the Camerata Singers, soprano singer Jayne Casselman and concert pianist Lynne Haeseler.
Sue Boyce, one of the 10 a cappella Camerata Singers, said the ensemble has a varied repertoire, including folk, spirituals and vocal jazz melodies.
All the group's songs will be "light music and accessible," she said. "If you are not a musical highbrow, you will still enjoy it. The music will be well done but not stuffy."
The performers in the benefit for Hungry Kids all have high musical credentials, Boyce said.
Casselman performed in many of the outstanding opera houses in Europe for more than 30 years and is now a Prescott resident. Haeseler has been a concert pianist in New York.
Kathy Eiskamp has been a leader of one of the food-packing teams from Hungry Kids' beginning.
The number of children who receive the weekend meals fluctuates, but "is usually going up," Eiskamp said.
"We can only pack food we have money for," she said. All the money raised benefits all three school districts.
"These are kids who are already qualified for the government's free breakfast and lunch programs," she said, "but when they go home there's nothing to eat.
Once the food is packed, the teams take it to the different schools, where school administrators discreetly put it into the children's backpacks.
The food items follow government nutrition requirements, and include milk, juice, fruit and fresh vegetables, Eiskamp said. And "it is all volunteers from the community who pack the food - good-hearted people who don't want to see kids go hungry."
Tickets for the benefit concert are $20 general admission, and $10 for students and seniors.
Donations of $50 or more will include prime seating and name recognition in the program. The $50 donation must be received by March 1 for inclusion in the program.
For more information or to buy tickets in advance, call Kathy Eiskamp at 928-776-5766, or email her at email@example.com.
Those who do not attend the concert may mail donations payable to the Prescott Education Foundation, Prescott Unified District Office, 146 S. Granite St., Prescott AZ 86303.
Please put "Hungry Kids" in the check's memo line. All contributions are tax-deductible.