Watonwan County Backpack Program receives donation

Sarah Bunich
St. James Plaindealer

St. James Mayo Clinic Health System awarded $10,000 to the Watonwan County Backpack Program as part of its Season of Gratitude awards. The program is for elementary students and there is a Food Pantry Program for the high school students.

The Watonwan County Backpack Program, St. James and Butterfield school districts accepting Mayo Clinics donation to Watonwan County Backpack Program. 
From Left to Right 
Front Row:  Amy Long, Administrator - Mayo Clinic Health System in St. James, Terri Baumgartner - St. James Public School, Sylvia Solorzano, - St. James Public School, Janet Fisch – Backpack Program Volunteer, Terese Hall, - Backpack Program Volunteer,  Linda Buller, - Backpack Program Volunteer,  Pat Kirshner, Director – Backpack Program.
Back Row:  James (Jim Sodeman), Community Engagement Team – Mayo Clinic Health System in St. James.

There are three participating communities school districts, Butterfield, Madelia, and St. James. Watonwan County's Backpack Program started in early October, it takes about $6 to fund a weekend backpack for one student, per time.

"We are wonderfully surprised and excited to receive this wonderful donation for the Backpack Program for this year. The Watonwan Backpack Program encompasses all three communities in our county and serves to help families with this need throughout the year. As our program has expanded to include the Pantry and the Family Meal Giveaway Program, there is always a need for ways to continue to fund these programs and to help the families we serve. We are deeply grateful and appreciate this wonderful gift.” Pat Kirchner, Director

In addition to what the program has they are in need of personal care products for the high school students' food pantry.