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Tiger Tasters is Stockton’s community run backpack program for hungry children in Stockton R-I School District. Only students who are identified as in need by school personnel receive three-day weekend food backpacks from the program.  

The program is funded entirely by community donations — all money collected is used to buy food and no tax dollars are used to operate the program. 

While observing social distancing due to COVID-19, Tiger Tasters sign-ups for the academic year were handled virtually. Once again, various members of the community came together. Tiger Tasters is particularly excited to welcome Mikayla Fox to the fold. Mikayla is a 2016 graduate of Stockton High School and graduated from Missouri State University in December of 2019. She currently is working on her master’s degree at the University of Missouri. Mikayla is the MU Extension Community Engagement Specialist in Youth Development. Mikayla is excited to step in and help organize various aspects of Tiger Tasters, in addition to helping with packing in the month of January. 

Various faithful individuals and groups signed up for the following tasks:

Food delivery to Head Start — Lake Stockton Elks Lodge 2858, Ray Wimsatt

Financial statements — Carla Griffin

Food delivery at Stockton R-I Schools — Sandy Winston

Thank you note-writer — Sue Webb 

Food ordering — Brent Drake (looking for a volunteer)

Best Choice label-cutters — American Legion Trent-Sallee Post 230 Auxiliary, Carla Griffin

Food prep:

September – American Legion Trent-Sallee Post 230 Auxiliary

January – First Southern Baptist Church, Alisa Bough

Packing schedule:

September — St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church, Therese Kral

October — St. Andrew Lutheran Church, Janice Hendricks

November — First Southern Baptist Church, Alisa Bough

December — PEO, Jackie Vincent

January — MU Extension, Mikayla Fox

February — Stockton Christian Church, Sherry Stephens

March — Stockton Presbyterian Church, James Behan

April — Retired Teachers, Sue Webb

May  — Sertoma, Kelly Roy

Financially, Tiger Tasters has enough money to place its first order of the year. Hopefully, additional donations through the end of the year will allow for the second order before the start of the spring semester. Carla Griffin reported as of July 2020, the balance available for Tiger Tasters’ operations is $10,358.27. 

The total cost for the program generally runs around $16,000 per year. This year Tiger Tasters would like to assess the prices of our items currently being handed out, bearing in mind we look for shelf-stable food which can be handled independently by children.

A donation of $30 per month will feed a child given current costs; $250 dollars will cover one student for the academic year.  

For those interested in donating money to the program, checks can be dropped off at the Stockton United Methodist Church on or mailed to the Church at P.O. Box 329, Stockton. Donation checks also can be sent to Community Foundation of the Ozarks, P.O. Box 8960, Springfield, with “Tiger Tasters” written on the memo line. 

Interested parties seeking additional information about the program or looking to make a donation are encouraged to call Angela Drake at 276-1218 or email drakea@missouri.edu; or call Mikayla Fox at (417) 808-0018 or email mfox@missouri.edu for further assistance.

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