Western Reserve Hospital in Cuyahoga Falls is sponsoring Bulldog Bags Inc., a community, nonprofit business organized to acknowledge and reduce food insecurity in children in the Stow-Munroe Falls City School District. Bulldog Bags are given to eligible students in kindergarten through ninth grade twice a month.
"It is imperative that we continue our strong community relationships and as a healthcare institution, helping children and their families stay nourished is a top priority," said Dr. Robert Kent, President and CEO, Western Reserve Hospital. "The entire staff of Western Reserve Hospital is committed to being locally loyal, and we feel fortunate to be able to partner with the Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools on this important project."
A single Bulldog Bag consists of 10-12 items for breakfast, entrées and snacks for the weekend. Additionally, a personal care item, such as a toothbrush or bar of soap, is included. Volunteers pack the Bulldog Bags, load them into bins and deliver them to elementary, intermediate, middle and high school buildings for distribution to referred students.
"We are so fortunate to be surrounded by local community members and organizations that help our students," said Thomas Bratten, Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools superintendent. "This is a wonderful community that looks out for everyone and I am glad to be a part of it. It’s essential for our students to have the food and nutrients they need to concentrate and achieve their best."
In addition to the Bags, the Bulldog Pantry and Bulldog Boxes were established. The Bulldog Pantry, requested by counselors, gives referred middle and high school students access to nutritious snacks and hygiene items. Due to summer vacation, Bulldog Boxes were approved for distribution beginning in June 2018. Each Box contains 10 meals and snacks for families of eligible children to enjoy while children spend more time at home.
Bulldog Bags Inc. was incorporated and obtained its 501(c)3 status in 2015 to provide food for students on the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program. Food is obtained through a Network Partnership with the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank, local food retailers and food drives.