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More low-income children in the Sweetwater Independent School District (SISD) will have food on weekends during this school year, thanks to a generous donation from Tenaska, developer of the Trailblazer Energy Center, a $3.5 billion carbon capturing power plant proposed near Sweetwater.
Tenaska is donating $2,000 to expand the Sweetwater Backpack Buddies program, a non-profit volunteer agency that provides food to children identified as chronically hungry by the SISD staff and administration, announced Leah Andrews, the programâs Sweetwater coordinator.
âThis donation will fund our weekly food contributions for at least a dozen more children this school year,â she said. âOn behalf of the students who will benefit, we very much appreciate Tenaskaâs participation in Sweetwater Backpack Buddies. We hope its contribution will inspire others in our community to donate so that our students do not go hungry when they are not at school. Young people who qualify for breakfasts and lunches through various programs on weekdays often do not have anything to eat on Saturdays and Sundays. Children must have nutritious meals in order to have good minds for learning.â
Backpack Buddies is associated with the national âBackpacks for Kidsâ program through the Food Bank of West Central Texas and the national program âFeeding America.â Through the program, Sweetwater volunteers from church, school and civic groups provide a bag of healthy food each Friday to students found to be chronically hungry or food insecure.
The program is currently serving 58 children in six Sweetwater Independent School District (SISD) campuses and has sent more than 1,200 bags of food home with them since the program began in February 2010. Â
âTenaska is very pleased to support the Backpack Buddies program,â said Tenaska Development Manager Helen Manroe. âIn this holiday season and beyond, we hope our contribution will help children in our community enjoy better nutrition and an enhanced ability to learn.â
Tenaska is developing the Tenaska Trailblazer Energy Center near Sweetwater, a proposed 600-megawatt power plant with among the worldâs most innovative technology. If built, the plant would create 1,500 jobs at peak construction and 100 permanent jobs when it begins operations.
âThis contribution demonstrates Tenaskaâs commitment to the Sweetwater and Nolan County community. It is a tangible way to thank the community for the welcome and support we have received over the past three years,â Manroe said.
Persons wishing to contribute or who would like more information about Backpack Buddies should contact Coordinator Leah Andrews at (325) 338-2384.