Generous Hands (GHI) will host the annual Fall Extravaganza from 6:30-9 p.m. October 15 at Lakeland Reformed Church on Sprinkle Road.
Generous Hands is a Vicksburg-based nonprofit organization that provides backpacks filled with food on Fridays to children who qualify for free or reduced breakfast and lunch programs who would otherwise go hungry over the weekend. This year money raised at the extravaganza will go to support Family Fare vouchers for the 2015-16 school year.
In the Vicksburg Community School District, the number of children receiving free or reduced lunch as increased by 72 percent since 2004 when Generous Hands began. In 2015, 873 students were enrolled in the free and reduced lunch program, 34 percent of all students in the district.
Sheri Louis, executive director of Generous Hands, said the event is “our biggest community fundraiser and a great way for us to bring awareness to the community of the need to feed our children.
“Test scores have been directly linked to nutrition and hunger so our organization is about trying to help those children in need succeed.”
Food purchase expenses are more than $24,000. More than $27,000 is spent for weekly Family Fare vouchers for students who qualify in the Vicksburg district for milk, bread, eggs and vegetables to each family. This fundraiser is very important to the organization so it can continue to provide the services that benefit so many.
This year the Fall Extravaganza will once again feature Chef Ryan Soule, owner and executive chef of the Oakwood Bistro in Kalamazoo, and Natalie Fuller, known as the “Cheese Lady,” from her Texas Corners shop of the same name. In addition to the cooking demonstrations, there will be a silent auction including hand-crafted jewelry, quilts, artisan-created blown glass, pottery, local services, cookbooks and several themed gift baskets, Louis said.
The GHI volunteers are selling tickets be purchased in advance and urge the public to buy in advance of the event. Tickets are $10. Seating is limited. Call (269) 370-7965 for tickets or ticket information.