LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Residents of Buckner Westminster Place in Longview were busy Tuesday morning packing snacks for area school children.
The residents are participating in the annual snack pack program, which prepares snacks for East Texas children who often miss meals during the weekend when they can’t get breakfast and lunch at school.
Twice a month throughout the school year, the residents of the senior living community will gather to prepare 50 snack packs filled with foods and treats like macaroni and cheese, oatmeal, cheese crackers, apple juice and pudding.
“At this age we have not retired we are still doing things that to help people and we love children. I am glad we can help them,” said Buckner Westminster Place resident Beth Salmon. “You just can’t retire from helping people and loving them. Gives you a good feeling. It’s what Jesus said for us to do. To help and love one another."
Those packs are them distributed to students of South Ward Elementary. The residents prepared the first snack packs of the year Tuesday morning.
“This is our fourth school year to participate in the snack pack program, and it’s something that residents are always eager to join,” said Bob Webster, food service director at Buckner Westminster Place. “We’re always looking for ways to give back to the greater community, and this is an opportunity that enables our senior community to support local children and ensure their needs are met. By providing these snack packs, we know that students are going home on the weekend with something to eat and won’t go hungry.”
The program began in 2012 while Melanie Wright was volunteering with Buckner Children and Family Services as part of the organization’s summer feeding program.
Through the summer program, Wright began contemplating what could be done throughout the year to ensure they were continuing to meet the needs of these children all year long.
After attempting to provide the snack packs each week with the support of Alpine Church and her family, Wright knew she would need help and reached out to Buckner Children and Family Services.
Wright continues to organize the initiative and has enlisted the assistance of Buckner Westminster Place, the Mom’s Club of Hallsville and Alpine Church to make sure packs are prepared each week during school months.