Friday, November 20, 2015

Bright Futures expands snack pack program; more students need food

Less than a week before the Joplin R-8 Board of Education makes a decision on what to do with the Bright Futures program, director Melissa Winson has announced an expansion of the snack pack program.

The expansion was noted in the KSN report that accompanies this post.

From that report:

After years of going off what teachers and counselors saw as a need, Joplin Bright Futures now uses a new survey from the USDA to measure food security in the home.

"We got that data back, we were absolutely amazed that the need was double what our resources were," said Melissa Winston, Bright Futures Joplin Coordinator.

Bright Future representatives found a way to cut costs to now send every kid home with food.

"Trying to figure out how to cut costs, how can we bring in extra revenues, how can we just make sure that this is going to be sustainable," said Winston.

Administration says 61% of students in the Joplin School District are considered at risk.


Anonymous said...

Cut this program now.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm. Are there any more costs that could be cut?

Perhaps the entire program, which seems well larded with administrative costs and waste needs to be cut?

Anonymous said...

3:55 AM has the right idea. Yes our school community has families in need but Bright Futures is not equipped to provide the assistance these families really need. Send your support to Crosslines Ministries now and all year long! Crosslines is our local food bank and they have the professional resources to assist our families. We don't need to waste our money and donations on Bright Futures to coordinate community resources that were in existence long before Bright Futures was dreamed up.

Anonymous said...

Winston has done too little, too late. I'm tired of hearing her justify her actions using the term "sustainable," which is how she justifies letting children go hungry while they sit on $500,000. Spend it. When you run out, go to the public and to corporations and businesses and churches and ask for more. Quit worrying about making sure you have money to pay yourself.

"Heal the sick, tend to the poor." "That which you do for the least, so do you also do for me."

Let those be the words to guide your actions, not "sustainable."

Anonymous said...


I like your idea. We could really build up Crosslines and completely take BF and its administrative costs (and ties to the ever corrupt CJ Huff administration) out of the picture. We just need Ridder to get the picture about how people feel about anything connected to Huff and sweep it all out the door. Park the trash at the curb. We want nothing to do with anything Huff-oriented. It can't be trusted. Period.

Anonymous said...

Maybe BF should declare moral bankruptcy and get it's house in order?

Anonymous said...

From the picture, apparently her family is not one of the 61%. However they will still get the food. Slush fund.....cut ties and move on..crosslines or salvation army, watered gardens...are credible recipients of donations.

Anonymous said...

Things could have been different if Uncle Sugar had come through with the $4 mil in other people's money. Many more could have been hired by BF on the friends and family plan, and maybe there would have been a few more crumbs fall through for the hungry kids.

Anonymous said...

Although I am not a fan of Bright Futures, I do know that the back pack food program is very needed in the schools. It is immediate. Some kids only have the food that they get at school to eat. It is the only meals they get. Forget about dinner every night; food on the weekends is almost non-existent. I have been in the social work field for 20 years. I personally know kids who have to hide the food they get from this program so they can make sure and have something to eat. We are talking about kids from Kindergarten on. How can we expect a child to know how to access resources like Crosslines, Salvation Army, etc.? Those agencies are amazing and help many people. But what if you have parents who don't care if their kids eat because they're too busy figuring out how to get their next "fix" of drugs? This really happens and it happens every day! It's hard to imagine that we have children going hungry, not only in America, but in Joplin, MO; but they do. Please, please, please put your criticism of the program aside and recognize that the need exists and the back pack program is one way to help. I could see area churches stepping in to fill this role, but until they do, the children of our community still need to eat.

Anonymous said...

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.

George Washington Carver

Something to think about. I know that other schools do this without the hoopla.