NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (April 25, 2022) – The organization that provides take-home meals and snacks to food-insecure students on school breaks and weekends is getting some recognition from the Tuscarawas County Historical Society.
The local Blessings in a Backpack program is among the recipients of the group’s Zeisberger Heckewelder Awards. Curator Kim Jurkovic says they’re presented annually to individuals and organizations whose efforts make Tuscarawas County better. She says the program has continued to do just that despite the disruptions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Right when they found out schools were going to be closed, they brought groups together to pack bags to have at school that very final day. It was one of those things where you had no idea how long schools were going to be closed, but they came together and got something ready.”
Program organizers and volunteers will receive the award on May 10th during the historical society’s 42nd-annual Founders Day Banquet in the Tuscora Park Pavilion.
“We have done it on a limited basis. Last year, we kind of did it normal. The year before, we did it later in the year and it was a very limited amount of people that were involved in that, but this year we’re pretty much back to normal.”
Jurkovic says two individuals will also be getting Zeisberger Heckelwelder Awards that evening for their impact on the community – former Dover Auditor Zoe Ann Kelly and New Philadelphia resident Terry Henry. Kelly has who has been involved with numerous organizations including the Kent State Foundation Board, Kent Tuscarawas Board of Trustees, the Union Hospital Auxilliary, and T4C. Henry is a longtime volunteer for Historic Zoar Village and the Dennison Depot who’s best known for his involvement with the local EAA Chapter and its Wright Flight program.