GRANBY —A week prior to students starting in the East Newton School District, a group of volunteers with East Newton United packed food kits for those who needed it.

GRANBY —A week prior to students starting in the East Newton School District, a group of volunteers with East Newton United packed food kits for those who needed it.

The food packing was held on Tuesday, Aug. 7, at First Church of God in Granby.

"We are packing for backpacks for the upcoming school year," said Shannon McDermott, chairman of EN United. "We are starting with a 150 (students), we expect it to go up from there. We actually do early childhood through 12th grade - school wide."

This is the fifth year that East Newton United has done this backpack program.

"We try to send them home two breakfast items, two lunch items, and two items they can use for dinner. Then a couple of snacks," she said. "So on average, they get about 12 to 15 items. It is completely anonymous, we try very hard to keep it so that other kids don't know who is getting the bags."

The food is completely donated to the program and any monetary donations that comes in, McDermott said they use it to purchase things they lack for the program.

"We also send hygiene products home, we try to send them home quarterly," she said.

Recently, Tyson's Foods presented East Newton United with a $25,000 check. On Aug. 7, representatives from Tyson's of Monett was on hand to help out packing the food.

"Tyson's is focused on to helping on alleviate hunger, especially around areas that the plants are located," said Ray Haught, chaplain for the Monett Tyson's Food location. "...We help as many people as possible in our endeavors, so we donate a lot of product to local food banks, shelters and all sorts of things. We encourage all of our employees to be involved in the community, help out wherever they can. "