Project Topeka kicked off its 2017 campaign Jan. 26 with featured speaker Theresa Gartner of Topeka North Outreach. Gartner shared how, when her agency lost a grant that paid for 100 Operation Backpack weekend food sacks for students in north Topeka, Project Topeka stepped in to help with a gift to continue the program.
Topeka North Outreach provides 22,500 food sacks each year. Gartner says some students tear into their food sacks before they even get home while one student told of hiding her food sack when she got home. Many students qualify for free school lunches but don't always have food to eat on weekends.
The Rev. Barry Feaker of Topeka Rescue Mission delivered the invocation. Feaker shared a personal experience with a woman seeking food assistance but who had arrived at the wrong time. Sharing a personal story of helping a woman who had arrived at the wrong time to request food assistance, Feaker told the kick-off attendees that it's important that we let people know that they matter. Helping those in need is a way to show them they do matter.
Read the Topeka Capital-Journal's article for more on the kick-off: http://cjonline.com/news/local/2017-01-26/project-topeka-helps-feed-community-school-children.
Amber Stroud of Project Topeka's executive committe announced 2016's top company Project Topeka campaigns:
1. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas