AKRON — When Niki Early a staff member of Tippecanoe Valley Middle School noticed that one of the students was having a hard time focusing on school work, she decided to find out why. The results of her inquiry is now a program that provide food to more than two dozen hungry children.
The Viking Vittles program works with Boomerang Backpacks to provide children who may need a little extra food that all-important fuel to keep on the right track in the classroom. Early began with sixth-graders and soon learned that some kids said they weren’t getting enough to eat. From this list of needy students, parental permission was obtained and Viking Vittles was well on its way and now reaches students at the other grade levels as well.
Early told the Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation’s Board of Trustees at Monday night’s regular session that approximately 30 middle schoolers receive benefit from the program. Her efforts were lauded by Middle School Principal Scott Backus who also assured the board that the assistance is going exactly where it should. “I can tell you that we don’t have anyone leaving with food who doesn’t need it,” he said.
The program is funded through both monetary and food donation and Early told the board that Viking Vittles costs about $100 per week to maintain. Efforts will be greatly enhanced by a recent $1,000 donation from Martins Supermarket. The program provides not only snacks but also ingredients for entire meals, which students can take home on Fridays after school in their backpacks.