You get a ham! NACA gifts "It’s in the Bag" program


Photo by Eleanor Guerrero - Principal Doug Mann and students (left to right): Will Oley, Nicolas Morean, Quade Boggio and Taylor Korth help unload 72 hams for all families of the children participating in the Weekend Backpack meals program at Red Lodge Middle School and Mountain View school. The hams were donated by the Native American Children’s Association, based in Red Lodge.

By Mariann Guerrero
Special to the News

On Friday, Feb. 2, the Red Lodged based non-profit Native American Children's Assoc. distributed over seven hundred pounds of ham to the supplemental food program "It's In the Bag." The program, a subgroup of the Food Partnership Council partnering with local schools for K-8, distributes six weekend meals to children to assure proper nutrition when school meals are not available.
Each participant in the program received a whole ham to bring home to family and enjoy together. Supporters of the program, run by Therese Picasso Edwards, meet on Friday afternoons and assemble enough food to feed children six meals over the weekends.
Jason Reimer, Middle School Principal said, “Overall it was a great thing for the kids! Please pass along our many thanks!”
“We made it last night and it was wonderful!” said one working mother the following Monday.
NACA gives a big shout out to Beartooth Market. They stepped up by not only supplying the hams and helping to pack them, but made the money go much further feeding more families than expected. Mountain View Principal Doug Mann and student volunteers helped unload the hams.
Many of these meals go to families of working parents, who may find their budgets stretched because of a sudden medical expense or perhaps a costly car repair. Rising rents, heat, clothing and insurance all contribute to making it difficult to make ends meet in today's challenging economy. The knowledge that enough food is coming each weekend to feed their children gives every parent some peace of mind. So many in our society have never missed a single meal, nor have had to worry about stretching dollars to feed our families. It takes a measure of compassion to put oneself in others' shoes and appreciate how difficult and stressful that must be.
The Native American Children's Association was founded in 2006 by sisters Eleanor Guerrero and Mariann Guerrero Mahady to honor and commemorate the lives of the latter's late son and grandson, Matthew and Sage Mahady. The all volunteer organization has distributed almost 8,000 new coats and countless whole turkeys and hams to families with children on the reservations and in Carbon County. Its mission is open to helping all children. “We were surprised at the hunger and need right here at home,” said Mahady.
Mahady stressed that one of the most comforting and rewarding acts one can do after a devastating loss is to contribute something to the community in his or her honor. "Think of the measure of joy you will feel by giving a coat or food to a deserving child. Your lost loved one will be honored by the gesture, and the goodwill reverberates out to the world. It helps to know that kindness is a viable commodity that you can share with others. You may find it may even assuage your pain."
To contribute to the Native American Children's Association, please call them at 446-9102; to contribute to the "It's In the Bag" program, contact Therese Picasso Edwards at 425-1343.

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Upcoming Events

  • Sunday, February 25, 2018 - 1:00pm
    Long, cold winter getting you down? Get out of the house and join the fun on Sunday afternoon for Bingo to help the homeless pets of Carbon County. Be there for Beartooth Humane Alliance Bingo, Sunday, Feb. 25, from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m., at the Red Lodge Elks Club.
  • Monday, February 26, 2018 - 7:00pm
    Joliet Group meets at the Community Center Monday at 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 7:00pm
    Now Group meets at the Bridger United Methodist Church, 222 W. Broadway (west entrance of church) Tuesday at 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, February 28, 2018 - 9:30am
    Open 2nd and 4th Wednesday 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. 206 N ‘D’ Street. More info 662-1060.
  • Thursday, March 1, 2018 - 7:00pm
    Meets every Thursday, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation, 122 S. Hauser. It is open to all. 425- 1755.
  • Thursday, March 1, 2018 - 7:00pm
    Clarks Fork Group meets at St. Joseph’s Catholic Hall, north end of Montana Avenue, Thursday at 7 p.m.