SYSK: The Beckers help pack up food for students - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

SYSK: The Beckers help pack up food for students


CALMAR (KWWL-- Every other Monday, a truck from the Northeast Iowa Food Bank in Waterloo arrives at the United Methodist Church in Calmar.

Alan Becker helps unload, and he brings the food to his wife LuAnne.

The Beckers lead the "BackPack Program."

The program makes sure children in the Turkey Valley and South Winneshiek School Districts have access to food during the weekends.

"The meals are kid friendly. The children should be able to take the food and be able to prepare it for themselves if need to," said LuAnne Becker.

It's a big job putting together 220 sacks of food every two weeks.

"We have a lot of volunteers who come in, 20-25 volunteers, unload the truck and sort food, unpack it and LuAnne and I each Tuesday deliver food to four schools every week," said Alan Becker.

This food means children won't go hungry while not in school.

According to the superintendent, 30 percent of students receive free or reduced lunch.

"When you think about hungry kids you often think about other places, it doesn't happen at home and it absolutely does, so it's a fantastic thing they do," said Turkey Valley/S. Winneshiek Superintendent Chris Hoover.

Al and LuAnne Becker are both retired teachers.

"It keeps us feeling like we're still involved with kids in some way," said LuAnne Becker.

The food packing goes quite quickly. Volunteers circle around filling sacks. Others tie up the filled sacks. Then it's all loaded into the Becker's van.

They travel 58 miles each week delivering the food to four schools. At South Winneshiek Elementary in Ossian, students help unload the sacks.

Once the last sack is unloaded, the Beckers are done, at least until the next week.

"Thanks to Al and LuAnne. They're great ambassadors, not just to the school but to the communities. It's people like them we definitely need a lot more of," said Chris Hoover.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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