The Backpack Program is one of the most popular services of the Food Bank both in terms of volunteers and for generous donations. Looking ahead, Food for Kids distributions will become even more critical as many school districts contemplate the idea of a four-day school week which will greatly impact students on free and reduced lunch. Carol and Duane Friesen helped propel the Backpack Program in the early days.
Carol Friesen was an early advocate, supporter and leader of the Backpack for Kids program and was the first volunteer school coordinator in the Union School District. She helped get their program moving forward with the sheer force of her will and dynamic personality. Carol would organize, motivate, recruit and simply make things happen. Other volunteer groups marveled with awe at her skill.
Working side by side with her husband Duane, they led the Sensational Saturday Snack Sackers until May of 2010 when the Food Bank changed the packing model to accommodate the ever-increasing number of participating students. Person for person, this group continually parceled incredible amounts of food in short periods of time thanks to Carol’s organization and recruiting skills.
Carol’s parents remained actively involved in volunteering as long as their health enabled them. They recently both passed away within a week of one another, and Carol wanted to remember their beloved Backpack program with a donation in their honor.