Milwaukie Rotary Club commits to matching the money raised at senior center, up to $500

In Oregon, one in four children struggle with hunger. When a child is deprived of adequate nutrition, their young mind can experience developmental impairments. This also can lead to more social and behavioral problems.

To meet the needs of these students, the North Clackamas Education Foundation established the Backpack Buddies program. This volunteer-run program provides nutritious take-home meals 37 weekends a year to nearly 800 students. The cost to feed one child per weekend is $4, or $150 to feed a child every weekend during the school year.

PHOTO COURTESY: JOYCE ALLMON - Celebrating the contribution to Backpack Buddies are Craig Van Valkenburg, Loraine Collacchi, Joel Bergman, Michael Ralls, Tom and Joline Hammond, Stephanie Rose, Natalie Whisler and Claire Ghazal.When Willamette View resident Ruth Friedel read an article about the Backpack Buddies program in the Milwaukie Pilot newsletter, she talked with Craig Van Valkenburg, CEO of the senior living center on River Road. He spoke with Loraine Collacchi of the Blue Heron Foundation and an idea was born. Van Valkenburg also talked with his Rotary club, and they liked the idea, too. So for the first time, Willamette View collected spare change for local children.

For the first two weeks in May, donation jars were available at Willamette View reception desks as well as at Waterfalls Cafe, the Mart and at Blue Heron Foundation offices located in the Manor and Plaza. The Milwaukie Rotary Club committed to matching the money raised at Willamette View, up to $500.

All money raised went to the Backpack Buddies program at Oak Grove Elementary School, just down the street.

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