STOW, OHIO – (June 7, 2019) When you hear or say Bulldog Bags, Inc. to someone in Stow or Munroe Falls, there are very few people who don’t know what those words mean. And to the two women who were the founders of Bulldog Bags, Inc., addressing food insecurity among the students of the Stow-Munroe Falls City School District led them to use strengths of organizational skills and researching, in order to field a huge volunteer and donor base that would provide weekend food programs for children and young people in the community.
Those two women: Laura Root and Jan Mather. These two women have been named the Grand Marshals of the 2019 Fourth of July Parade. The parade, sponsored by the City of Stow and the Kiwanis Club of Stow-Munroe Falls, were unanimous in their decision for the coveted spot in the parade; they are the co-founders of Bulldog Bags, Inc., and the driving force(s) in its moving forward since its founding in 2015.
Both Laura and Jan have long lists of service in organizations, churches, philanthropies, and the like, but in 2015, through their work in the Food Pantry at the United Methodist Church in Stow, the two became aware that there were children in the school district who went hungry on the weekend, when not in school to partake in the Free and Reduced Meal Program.
Jan is quick to point out, “We’re the idea people; it was the greater community of volunteers and donors of both items and money that made addressing food insecurity through the Bulldog Bags, Inc. organization a reality.”
The ball started rolling in the summer of 2015, and in subsequent meetings it was decided that the service to children would begin in January 2016. Each school year from that point expanded from serving K-4 to K-10 and adding a second distribution each month. In school year 2018-2019, an average of 564 Bulldog Bags were provided to Grades K-9 two times a month.
According to Laura, “Jan and I feel that really the Grand Marshalls [of the Parade] are the people that support Bulldog Bags, Inc. I will just say ‘Thank You’ to the community and all of the people that help to make this idea, plan, dream a reality for so many children and young people in our community.”
Jan adds, “I wouldn’t want anyone to think that Laura and I did it by ourselves – but if it takes us being the Grand Marshals to raise even more publicity, garnering more volunteers and donations, we are ALL IN!”
Future plans of Bulldog Bags, Inc. include providing Bulldog Bags to children in all grades at the high school, as well as the establishment of a full food pantry at the high school.
You can be sure that Laura Root and Jan Mather will be at the forefront of any Bulldog Bags plans or developments. Just like you can be sure that they’ll be at the forefront of this year’s Fourth of July Parade.
Congratulations to Laura Root and Jan Mather, most deserving Grand Marshals of the 2019 Stow Fourth of July Parade!