Independence Bank and Woodmen Life in Mayfield are donating backpacks to youth services and family resource centers operated by the county and city school systems. Graves County Schools sent two releases on Tuesday of similar, but separate, donations to benefit children in need before the start of the school year.
Tana Jones is the director of the Wingo Elementary School Family Resource Center. “We have students that at the beginning of school sometimes expenses are an issue and the donation of these supplies will help alleviate some of that stress for some of our families,” she said.
“Every time I think of the schools, I think of these centers and their directors because of what they do for both school systems and the children in Mayfield and Graves County who need the help,” Mayfield Independence Bank president Darvin Towery said in a release. The bank donated 125 backpacks.
“Giving back to our community is a major focus for us,” Mayfield Woodmen Life marketing director Teresa Dunaway said in a release. Woodmen Life Chapter 115 donated 34 backpacks, which were filled with supplies by members.
Jones said there are seven school family resource centers in the county and two in the city. The centers run year-round and the number of students served varies, she said. She estimated an average of 75% free and reduced lunch population in both school systems and noted that not all of that population utilizes services at the centers.
A Kentucky Kids Count profile of Graves County in 2017 showed as of 2015 (the latest data available) 27.4% of children in the county live below the federal poverty level (the number is slightly lower than 28.6% in 2010). According to the data, 18.4% live in food insecure households (down from 22.6% in 2011).
The City of Mayfield recently donated an old church building to the Graves County School System to house a yearly program called the ‘Community Christmas Connection.’ Jones said the program is a Christmas store stocked with donated items for assisted families from both school systems to shop for gifts for their kids. She said in years past the event was located in donated spaces. The new building serves as a permanent space and is under renovation.