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Local business raising funds for holiday give back

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - 

Healthy Happies in South Bend is partnering with Navarre Intermediate School, in an effort to give 55 low-income families from the school a Thanksgiving meal.

The smoothie bar set a goal to raise $3000 by November 21 to buy the supplies for the dinners. A week out the team is still $2000 short of that goal.

But Kyle Ingle from Healthy Happies says he has no doubt they will raise those funds.

“We have the best customers ever so I know they’re going to pull through,” he said. “And hopefully some people who have never heard of us actually come in and just donate because it’s the season of giving.”

With the money, Healthy Happies will go to a grocery store to find the best deals, and put together meal baskets for families of Navarre Intermediate students living below the poverty line. In those baskets will be the means to make a thanksgiving meal.

When deciding how to give back this holiday season, the team at Healthy Happies wanted to keep things local.

With 95 percent of students at Navarre Intermediate coming from low-income families, they decided the school was a good place to invest.

“We found out they’re one of the highest poverty levels in all of South Bend Community School Corporation. So for us it was really just a no-brainer of helping those who truly need it the most,” said Kyle.

But the giving doesn’t stop there. After raising $2000 in the next week, Healthy Happies plans to raise another $4000 for the Christmas season to continue the holiday give back.

That money would impact 800 students by creating snack packs for them to take home when school is dismissed for Christmas break.

“A lot of times the children aren’t able to have meals or snacks, things that we take for granted, after school,” said Jena Ingle with Healthy Happies. “Sometimes the only meal that they’re able to eat is actually at school.”

The snack packs would provide the kids with nonperishable and sustainable food items to take home over the holiday break.

“We were told that some of the children actually live in the homeless shelter,” said Jena. “And it really impacted all of us here at Healthy Happies.”

So in addition to the food, the team wanted to give the kids a chance to experience the joy of the season.

“We’re going to take some of the money as well and we’re going to put up a Christmas tree at Navarre,” said Jena. “We’re going to decorate it and hand out candy canes with positive notes and messages for these kids, because a lot of times when they’re younger, and even now as adults, we all need positivity.”

The $4000 towards the Christmas project needs to be collected by December 15.

Healthy Happies is accepting donations at its location on Ireland Road in South Bend.

A donation of any amount is welcome. Gift cards to grocery stores like Walmart or Martin's are also accepted. 

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