We Will Feed Them Field Day 2018

On Tuesday, August 28, several local groups came together to attend We Will Feed Them Field Day, an event to benefit Blessings in a Backpack. Parkview Health is a proud sponsor of Blessings in a Backpack, a national organization with the mission of ending childhood hunger.  

The cause

“A lot of times, schools are able to provide food to children during the week, but they might not have access to food when they go home on Friday,” Dena Jacquay, Chief Human Resources Officer, Parkview Health, said. “Through Blessings in a Backpack, those children are able to take bags of food home with them for the weekend.”

The partnership

The health system has been a community partner for some time. “Our missions match,” Dena said. “Parkview is there to provide care and well-being support, but that’s not just for those we serve in our hospitals. It’s for people in the community as well. Food insecurities play a huge role in that well-being.”

In addition to Dena’s involvement with the Blessings in a Backpack board, Parkview also assists with the collection, packaging and distribution of the food for area students. These logistics are facilitated through the Parkview health distribution center. “A lot of the work –  ordering and gathering and delivering food – happens with our Nutritional Services team. The distribution center is the hub where food gets put onto trucks and sent to the students we serve.”

The event

In an effort to raise awareness about the cause and engage the northeast Indiana population, Blessings in a Backpack wanted to offer an event that was light-hearted, entertaining and for people of all ages and interests. “Traditionally, we’ve done black tie dinners, but not everyone can get involved in that, so we wanted something fun that everyone could join in on,” Kryste Wallen, Executive Director, Blessings in a Backpack, said. “It’s important to be civically engaged in the community. We serve about 5 percent of the need, which is about 70 percent of the elementary aged student population, so the more we can do to raise awareness of our cause and mission, the better.”

The field day participants enjoyed physical obstacles, games of skill and mental challenges set up around Parkview Field. “Everyone seemed to have a great time,” Kryste said. “It was wonderful to see all of our plans come to fruition, and watch everyone laugh and be engaged. Couple that with the fact that it’s all for a good cause, and there’s no better way to make a living.”

The proceeds

As a result of the We Will Feed Them Field Day proceeds, Blessings in a Backpack was able to add one more school to the list of students they serve. Looking on the horizon, Kryste feels confident the organization will be able to add more schools in the future.

How you can help

If you are interested in helping Blessings in a Backpack, visit blessingsindiana.org to learn about other events and their monthly giving program. “I did the math, and if I got 1 percent of the population to give up one coffee a month, just $5, I could double the numbers and feed all of the kids,” Kryste said. “If you want to help pack or volunteer at events or there’s something your group or family want to do, get ahold of me.”


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