TUPPERS PLAINS — A campaign by local non-profit Loyalty is Forever, which was launched a year ago, presented its first funds last week with the help of Farmers Bank Tuppers Plains employees and other donors.
“Comfort Food” was launched by Loyalty is Forever in March 2020, just before the pandemic stopped activities and events.
The program works in conjunction with the Meigs County Juvenile Court and the Meigs County Department of Job and Family Services Children Services Division to provide food to children during difficult times such as during displacement from the home, counseling and family reconciliation.
During the month of February, employees at Farmers Bank in Tuppers Plains collected $500 in donations through the “Spread the Love” campaign, with an additional $250 donated by Farmers Bank and $250 from an anonymous donor. A total of $1,000 has been raised to date for the Comfort Food Program.
“Children have a special place in our hearts. If we can provide a bit of comfort during a hard time in their life, then we’re happy to have helped,” said Jenni Doczi of Farmers Bank Tuppers Plains.
Last week funds from the Comfort Food Program were used to purchase gift cards to local restaurants, Wal-Mart, and Dollar General with the cards given to Children Services caseworkers to use for the children in need.
When children are removed from a bad situation and need to be taken to be checked out or interviewed they are often hungry or do not have clean clothing. Often it is the caseworker with the child who spends their own money to feed the child or to purchase clothes or other items the child may need.
Children Services Supervisor Becca Willford explained sometimes taking the child to get clothes or something to eat can help them to connect and show that they are not a bad person, but someone the child can trust.
On the Juvenile Court side, cards can be used as incentives for kids who have good attendance and behavior and for outings with peer mentors and caseworkers such as “fun Friday” activities as rewards.
Juvenile Judge Scott Powell explained that for some of the kids the opportunity to go out to eat, fishing, bowling, or other activities may be the first time they have been able to have that experience.
For more on Loyalty is Forever find them on Facebook.
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Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.