Network of Volunteers and Donors Provide Food to Children in Need


There’s an unique and amazing program in Anderson County that has been helping feed children in need for over a decade.  Backpack Buddies started in 2004 as a program to help provide food to children and families who may not be able to afford it.  Focusing on just providing food for the weekends as the schools provide food during the week, Backpack Buddies program has grown from just giving a small number of bags a week to over 200.

Each week, many volunteers, totaling over a hundred through the year, process all the food that is purchased at deeply discounted rates from Save A Lot and God’s Pantry.  Starting with transporting pallet loads of food to space donated by First Christian Church on Main Street, a group of volunteers sort and bag it all.  Each bag contains roughly $5 worth of food which is then transported to the individual schools by yet another team of volunteers.  Family resource directors at the schools then distribute the food out to the children without cost to the families.

This amazing program wouldn’t happen without the hard work of the volunteers and donors that help pay for the food, according to Jody McGrath who is the coordinator for the program.  She said that although the program is hosted at First Christian Church, it is a separate entity that is not funded by the church.  Although they have received a number of small grants in previous years, all of their funding is provided by donations from the community.

For more information about Backpack Buddies or to donate or volunteer, check out their Facebook page.  Be sure to watch the video above about the program.

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