‘Backpack Buddies’ supplies kids with food for weekends

MARION, SC (WBTW) – A coalition of the faith based and civic volunteers, led by Scott Collins of the Friendship Baptist Church of Gresham have come together in the name of Backpack Buddies.

Backpack Buddies provides children from food-insecure homes with healthy weekend snacks and meals during the school year. The children, selected by school principals and guidance counselors, receive a backpack containing balanced meals and snacks at the end of every week.

The students bring back the backpack the next week to be refilled for the following weekend. The project began last year as a pilot and served the schools based in the Marion area. This year it is expanding to all schools in the district.

“The program was very successful last year,” commented Collins to a group of Marion County School District Guidance counselors at their monthly meeting. “We are looking forward to being able to offer this resource to all schools in our district.”

Although many resources are available to families, far too many students still fall short of healthy foods over the weekend. The mission of this organization is to provide nutritious supplements to children for the growing of healthy and strong minds and bodies.

Many volunteers come together to make this happen on a regular basis including Marion High School students in Maribeth Osborn’s class. They help to fill the bags each week as part of their Life and Job Skills course. The backpacks are filled with foods such as individual boxes of cereal, fruit and pudding cups, granola bars, fresh fruit, juice boxes, non-refrigerated white or chocolate milk boxes and the like.

If anyone is interested in supporting this cause by donating appropriate food items, they can take their offerings to Marion County High School.

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