Day of Caring

November 4, 2021

When 250 volunteers in Western Nebraska come together to package 80,000 meals there is a sense of community connectedness that exemplifies the good in people. United Way is at the heart of this movement they call Day of Caring, coordinating an event where the volunteers package shelf-stable meals that remain in the community for food insecure families, children, and seniors.

Addressing Pervasive Food Insecurity

25,000 of those meals are provided to food insecure youth in Box Butte and Dawes County by United Way of Western Nebraska, where poverty rates are pervasive. 28.8% of children under 18 and 48.2% of children under age five live in poverty in Box Butte County and 15.6% of youth under 18 and 19.3% under age five live in poverty in Dawes County.

Snow-Redfern grant funds help United Way provide nutritious shelf stable meals to food insecure families, seniors, and youth, with a focus on alleviating hunger. But the grant funds are just a piece of the larger coordination required to combat such a significant issue.

Meeting Children’s Basic Needs

Karen Benzel, Director of United Way of Western Nebraska, serving Box Butte and Dawes Counties, also coordinates other activities aimed at collaboration across agencies and increasing reach as it relates to poverty, including the Poverty Task force.

“Snow-Redfern Foundation grant funds create a lasting impact in our community. The funding partnership that Snow-Redfern Foundation provides to our program allows United Way of Western Nebraska to meet basic needs for at-risk youth and their families by providing access to quality nutrient-rich foods and United Way is able to serve our community through addressing food insecurity in large part due to the funding partnership of Snow-Redfern Foundation,” shared Karen.

It cannot be repeated enough-it takes a village to raise a family and this village is full of caring and supportive volunteers that are stepping up for those families that need a little help to get through tough times. We are proud to be one of the many entities that support this important work.