Donor helps TUFF Bags

Donor helps TUFF Bags
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The Tuscarawas United Feeding Our Future Bags Program provides bags of food to food in-secure children on weekends and holiday breaks during the school year.

                        

An anonymous donor has purchased a warehouse so a successful Tuscarawas County Juvenile Court program can continue to expand and serve more food-insecure children.

The Tuscarawas United Feeding Our Future Bags Program provides bags of food to food in-secure children on weekends and holiday breaks during the school year. The program, developed by Judge Adam Wilgus, utilizes “kids to feed kids.” The bags are packed by children who are sentenced to the task by Wilgus.

TUFF Bags was previously operated out of a building in Dover. The program now has its own space at 1060 Cookson Ave. SE in New Philadelphia.

The growth of the program provoked a search for a larger facility in which to store and pack food. At the beginning, 200 food-insecure children were served each week. Now 600 children each week receive bags containing breakfast, lunch and snack items. A summer program was added this year, and 400 children received food throughout the summer.

The total number of bags of food that have been distributed to date is 67,844. Those bags have contained 135,688 breakfasts, 135,688 lunches and 135,688 snacks.

Since its inception, 121 juveniles have completed the program. Nearly 90% of those did not reoffend within six months of completion.

The average cost of a bag of food, which feeds a student for one weekend, is 63 cents. The average cost to feed that student each weekend and for extended holiday breaks during an entire school year is $35.

The program relies on grants and donations. Contributions to the program can be sent to the United Way of Tuscarawas County at 1458 Fifth St. NW in New Philadelphia or via www.tuscunitedway.org. Designate your gift for TUFF Bags.


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