May 20th was a big day at North Presbyterian Church—Pentecost and Confirmation. It is also the day we received the Celebrating Youth Offering, which replaces the PC (USA) Pentecost Offering. The offering will be equally divided between the BackPack Program of the Food Bank of Western New York and the RUTF (Ready-to-use Therapeutic Food) program of Doctors Without Borders. Thank you for your generous contributions of more than $2600!
Prior to 2017, the Mission Committee donated $3,600 annually from its budget—enough to provide the Backpack Program for one classroom for a year. Since then, with the decrease in our budget, we have been unable to be as generous as we would like. Perhaps this year a combination of funds from our budget, this offering, and fundraising will enable us to reach this amount again. Although we have supported Doctors without Borders before, this is the first time that we will designate our gift to RUTFS.
The BackPack Program provides take-home bags of food each Friday to more than 2,960 children in 46 Western New York schools. These bags go to children who rely on free or reduced-price meals at school and usually contain enough food for the weekend for the student’s entire family. Teachers say that children enrolled in this program are able to perform better in school.
RUTFs include all the nutrients a child needs during his/her development and also helps reverse deficiencies. Water is not required for preparation of the food and packaging allows them to be used stored as well as to be used in many different settings. In 2015, Doctors Without Borders admitted 181,600 malnourished children to feeding programs where RUTFs was administered. Only about 3 percent of the 20 million children suffering from severe acute malnutrition receive the lifesaving treatment they need.