Baby Food Project marks 50 years of supporting life, with help from students
All concerned were feeling blessed as they participated in the 50th Annual Tazewell County Right to Life Baby Food Project in support of pregnant women and their children on March 31.
Chris Kapraun’s seventh grade class from St. Patrick School in Washington had a chance to present the baby food they had collected personally to three social service agencies in Peoria. “I think it’s just a wondrous thing of life, the many different places people can go to get help,” said student Mary Cody.
The students started the day by visiting U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, who serves Illinois’ 16th District. He said he was inspired by their example.
“You see these kids that are so focused on helping to raise awareness on how important it is to stand up for life,” he said. “I’m just amazed at their dedication and commitment.”
Tazewell County Right to Life representatives Kay Grillot, president, and Kitty Yontz, who has been active with the project since the mid-1970s, accompanied Kapraun and her students as they dropped off $7,000 worth of baby food and formula to St. Gianna Baby Pantry of Catholic Charities, Empower Life Center, and the Women’s Care Center.
At each stop, the students learned about the frontline work of the social service agencies — and the human realities of the people they serve. Joyce Elger, director of the Women’s Care Center, described the life situation of a woman who had called that day.
“She’s going to college, and she’s also working a job . . . and she was just overwhelmed. But after a period of talking to a counselor on the phone, she’ll be coming in this afternoon,” Elger said.
In addition to the items collected by the students, area parishes donated funds — primarily for the purchase of baby formula, which is in high demand — along with the Msgr. E.L. Grzybowski Knights of Columbus, the Father John Menco Knights of Columbus, and the Mary T. Quinn Division of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians.
Roe vs. Wade lasted 50 years before being overturned last June. The Tazewell County Right to Life Baby Food Project turned 50 this year, and there are no plans of stopping.
“We’ll be back next year,” Kapraun said.