Backpack Buddies; fighting food insecurity in the Lowcountry

Charleston County News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Backpack Buddies is a program that aims to close the hunger gap; specifically in students.

Westminster Presbyterian Church in Charleston partners with Mary Ford Elementary School by packing grocery bags filled with fruit, vegetables, protein, and a few treats.

They want to make sure that every child has food to eat over the weekend. According to officials, this program helps about 115 families on a weekly basis.

Food insecurity is a relevant issue for the North Charleston school. Principal Ruth Taylor says that this program makes a world of difference to a hungry child.

“We have families with food insecurities. They do not have proper and constant nutrition. Particularly over the weekend,” says Taylor. “This helps those kids so their not hungry.”​

The food is donated by Lowcountry Food Bank in large quantities. It then is spread out onto tables in an assembly line.

Members of the church, teachers, and volunteers work quickly to fill the bags. According to Parent Advocate Coordinator Miranda Burton, her strategy is to fill as many bags as she can at once.

“For me, I just like to grab as many as I can hold, you know. Lazy Man’s Load is what you call it, but I just grab as many as I can get on there,” says Burton.

This food will be delivered to Mary Ford Elementary in the next few weeks. While it is currently the season of giving; this program lasts all year.

“It’s been evident that the need is there, but we do have families that say thank you and it’s all worth it,” says Taylor.

Their next Backpack Buddies “Wonderful Wednesday” will be next year on January 8th.

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