PORTAGE | With more than 50 percent of Portage Township Schools students on free and reduced lunch programs, the Portage Township Trustee's office is launching the Fuel the Kids Summer Project.
"We want to target children and their families who don't have their nutritional needs met," said Pam Buhman, program facilitator for the trustee's office.
Buhman said the trustee's office received a small grant from the Northwest Indiana Community Action group to help launch the program and are now turning to the community and hosting fundraisers to provide food for some 300 children this summer.
Buhman said they have distributed information through the schools seeking families in need of the assistance.
"Our goal is to give them one meal a day for 30 days. it is aimed to help the children, but if you can help the children, you can help the whole family," she said.
They hope to supply 300 food baskets, each with 30 meals, which will be distributed from the Bonner Senior Center on June 22 and July 27 to help families get through the summer.
Buhman said some businesses are hosting food drives, picking one particular food item and collecting 300 of that item. Officials are looking for more businesses to assist in the food drives.
They are also planning two fundraising events.
From 5 to 8 p.m. today, Buffalo Wild Wings on U.S. 6 in Portage will hold a "Give Back" night, in which a percentage of proceeds from food sales will be donated to the project.
From 8 to 9 a.m. May 8, Rittenhouse Senior Living of Portage, 6235 Sterling Creek Road, will host a breakfast fundraiser. Portage Township Trustee Brendan Clancy will speak, along with a representative of the Northwest Indiana Community Action group. While the breakfast will be free, Buhman said, they will be passing the "lunch box" to collect donations.
For more information or to assist in the program, contact Buhman at (219) 762-3591.