Family Memorializes Infant Daughter By Supporting and Promoting the Tiger Packs Program

Family Memorializes Infant Daughter By Supporting and Promoting the Tiger Packs Program

July 23, 2018: The Tiger Packs program, established to combat hunger in the Grinnell-Newburg School District, recently was gifted more than $2,830 from a family mourning the loss of their infant daughter.  This collective gift will provide approximately 800 Tiger Packs packages to Grinnell-Newburg students in the 2018-19 school year.

Gustie Pearl Hanson, infant daughter of Peter Hanson and Rebecca Sallee Hanson of Grinnell, died on July 3, 2018.  In honor of Gustie’s fighting spirit, many friends and family supported the Tiger Packs program. Parishioners from the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church also collectively gave $1,000 in Gustie’s memory for the Tiger Packs program.  Peter and Rebecca felt compelled to direct memorials to the Tiger Packs Program because “No child should go without food. Tiger Packs provides Grinnell school kids experiencing food insecurity with food to eat over the weekend so that they come to school with full bellies, ready to learn. We can’t think of a better legacy for our daughter than to support the kids who would have been her friends and classmates. We are deeply grateful for this outpouring of support, and hope more people will join us in celebrating Gustie’s life by donating to the Tiger Packs program.”

The Tiger Packs program serves Grinnell-Newburg k-8 students with a package of food placed in their backpack each Friday during the school year.  The Tiger Packs program also supports the high school food pantry and provides a weekly supply of fresh fruit to each of the five schools in the district.

The Tiger Packs Advisory Committee includes Delphina Baumann, Ryan Benz, Nicole Brua-Behrens, Doug Cameron, Caleb Elfenbein, Shannon Fitzgerald, Jean Halvorson, Nikki Harter, Deanna Shorb, Lee Smith, and Scott Surovec.  The committee works to raise awareness about the reality of childhood hunger in Grinnell, recruit volunteers to package shelf-stable food every two weeks and fundraise for the program.  On the evening of August 16ththe Tiger Packs Advisory Committee will also be honoring volunteers and donors at an appreciation event held at the Foundation Offices.  Without financial and volunteer support this program would not be where it is today serving 240 children weekly during the school year.

District-wide, the number of Tiger Packs participants continues to grow as more students become eligible for the free and reduced lunch program. The percentage of students in the Grinnell-Newburg School District receiving free and reduced lunch was 30% in the previous academic year (478 students). What began as a pilot program for twelve students at the lower elementary schools in 2013 has expanded to serve 240 students from five area schools, 20 of which are high school students.

Consider supporting the Tiger Packs program or endowment today. Commencing July 1st, the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation (CDAF) is serving as the umbrella organization and fiscal manager for the Tiger Packs program fund. Gifts to the Tiger Packs program fund should be made payable to Tiger Packs and mailed in care of CDAF at P.O. Box 284; or made online at www.ahrensfamilyfoundation.org. Gifts to the Tiger Packs endowment fund should be mailed in care of Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation (GPCF) at P.O. Box 344; or made online at www.greaterpcf.org.

Tiger Packs is a program partner of the Community Support Services (CSS) program. In 2006 the CSS program was launched in partnership between CDAF and GPCF. The goal of the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation’s Community Support Services program is to build organizational capacity and promote collaboration among the local nonprofit community by optimizing back-office support operations and creating efficiencies through shared staff and administrative functions, thus strengthening the missions of the local nonprofit sector to help improve the quality of life for the local area.

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