According to No Kid Hungry, an organization that focuses on solving hunger problems for children, more than 13 million children live in food insecure homes in the United States. While these students can eat free or reduced-cost meals during the week at school, many of them have little to nothing to eat during the weekend.

On Saturday, June 3, the South Lyon community will host their second annual “Blessings in a Backpack” golf outing at the Tanglewood Golf Club and Restaurant.

Described as a neighbor-helping-neighbor program, “Blessings in a Backpack” is designed to help meet the nutritional needs of children during weekends so they can be healthier, more focused, and better learners. Every Friday, each participant in the program is sent home with a backpack that contains two breakfasts, two lunches, and two dinner meals that cover several food groups. Granger Construction is helping to support the program for the second straight year.

Sid Dotinga, senior project manager, Granger Construction

“We are very proud to be able to support such a worthwhile endeavor,” said Sid Dotinga, senior project manager at Granger Construction. “To be able to help folks, especially children, who are in need is immensely gratifying.”

Saturday’s event includes golf, dinner, raffle, and silent auction, with funds going to feed program participants in the area.

In 2005, a teacher in Kentucky noticed that some of her students were returning to class on Monday hungry. She raised attention in her district for the issue, and soon the “Blessings in a Backpack” program was created. Now there are more than 1,000 schools participating in 47 different states, serving more than 90,000 children. The community-oriented program allows Blessings to maintain low expenses, which ensures that even more children do not go hungry.

The first school district to start a branch in Michigan was (Auburn Hills) Avondale, which not only served their district but several in the surrounding area. The Avondale program was the first in the U.S. to provide meals to all of the at-risk children in the district and led to branches being in created in more than 30 communities and 60 schools in the state, including South Lyon. Through “Blessings in a Backpack,” the South Lyon program serves nearly 300 children every weekend.

“Part of the Granger culture is a commitment to giving back to the communities we live and work in,” said Dotinga. “To see firsthand the real impact of this program is tremendous.”

Visit the “Blessings in a Backpack” website for more information on how you can donate or support.

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