Brainerd Area News

Support Kinship Partners & The Lunch Buddy Programs In The Brainerd Lakes Area

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Lunch Buddies is a new School-Based Mentoring Program provided by Kinship Partners and is designed to introduce students and adults to the art of mentoring. The object of the program is to improve a child’s social skills and self-esteem in order to foster a better attitude for learning: ultimately improving school success.

Lunch Buddies has been impacting elementary schools in Staples, Motley, Pequot Lakes, and Crosby, since 2015 and made its debut in Brainerd at Harrison, and Riverside Elementary in the 2017-2018 school year. Kinship Partners then launched Lunch Buddy programs at Garfield Elementary and Lowell Elementary in 2018-2019 school year. Kinship Partners also plan on launching Lunch Buddy programs in Baxter and Crosslake in the 2019-2020 school year.

Here is what a few Lunch Buddy kids have to say…

“I like spending time with people who make me feel happy. I love the activities.” -Justin

“It makes me feel special.”-Greyson

“It is my favorite day of the week!”-Neveah

And what do school administrators think about Lunch Buddies?

Harrison Elementary Principle and 46-year educator Cathy Nault said, “Having a student do something they’re interested in one-on-one with an adult is going to have a positive impact, I think that’s fabulous,”

Children in our community deserve our best.

Kinship Partners and our Lunch Buddy program are at a critical crossroads. Lunch Buddies has grown faster than we anticipated and we have lost key funding that is jeopardizing launching and maintaining new Lunch Buddy programs.

Kinship Partners can use your support to help launch our new Lunch Buddy programs and maintain our existing programs. Can we count on you today to ensure that every child has a Lunch Buddy this year?

You can make an impact!

  • $28 – Provides activity supplies for one Lunch Buddy match for the school year
  • $70 – Delivers mentor lunches for one entire school for a month
  • $105 – Covers the cost to recruit, screen and train a Lunch Buddy mentor
  • $250 – Provides Lunch Buddy activity supplies for an entire school for a year
  • $500 – Supports a Lunch Buddy match for an entire year
  • $5,000 – Covers an entire schools Lunch Buddy program for a year

We are pleased to announce that the Brainerd Lakes Community Foundation has awarded a $10,000 donor challenge that will help Kinship Partners support and expand Kinship Partners new Lunch Buddy school mentoring programs. This challenge grant will match, dollar-for-dollar, donations received through August 31, 2019.

Just go to to make your gift to Kinship Partners.

Your gift will ensure that the power of mentoring continues to reach children who need support and hope.