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According to 2018 data, Lincoln County has one of the highest rates of poverty in the state at 23.9 percent and one in four children in the county experience food insecurity. But the Backpacks for Kids program is hoping to change that.

"We have been feeding North Lincoln County students since 2007 and our mission is simple: ‘Nourishing the body that nourishes the mind,’” Pat Robertson, founder of Backpacks for Kids said.

Each week during the school year, Backpacks for Kids sends over 300 backpacks home with Lincoln City students filled with food for the weekend. The food varies and can include things like mac and cheese, cereal, soup, juice, bread, apples, granola, fruit bars, tuna fish, refried beans, chili and peanut butter and jelly.

During the month of August, Backpacks for Kids will be focused on Peanut Butter and they’ve already begun collecting jars for the upcoming school year.

“Every school year, Backpack for Kids gives out more than 2,700 jars of peanut butter to school children at risk of going hungry,” Nancy Oksenholt, collection organizer said. “This August, Backpacks for Kids hopes (everyone) will help us collect those 2,700 jars of peanut butter so we're ready for the 2019-2020 school year. Help us fight childhood hunger one jar of peanut butter at a time.”

Numerous banks across Lincoln City have partnered with Backpacks for Kids during this year’s peanut butter drive and have placed collection containers in their branches that are open to anyone who is looking to donate. Participating banks include Bank of the West, Columbia Bank, First Interstate, Oregon Coast Bank, Oregon State Credit Union, TLC Credit Union, US Bank and Washington Federal.

The drive will last the duration of the month as Backpacks for Kids prepares for the 2019-20 school year.

“Bring to your bank a small jar of peanut butter and help your bank become the winner of the most jars of peanut butter,” Robertson said.

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