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Rolesville High program feeds hungry teens

Posted August 28

— The high school is the first in Wake County to launch a Backpack Buddies program for teens, thanks to community donations.

Students are given a backpack full of food, and they’re allowed to come back once a week for refills. There are no financial forms to fill out and no questions asked. A parent or student simply has to say there is a need.

“We try to make sure we get things that kids can just throw in the microwave and heat up and eat,” Principal Erica Lucas said.

Lucas launched the program last semester, but she noticed the problem long ago.

“When you see kids who are waiting in line, trying to get change from other people, or they’re not going through the line or sitting in the corner reading a book – those are red flags,” she said.

Teachers are on the front lines, often reaching into their desks to help.

“They say, ‘Ms. Newsome, would you mind if I have a granola bar?’ I’m like, ‘of course,’” teacher Tiffany Newsome said.

Rolesville Mayor Frank Eagles partnered with Lucas to spread awareness about the program, and he hopes to see other Wake County high schools do the same.

“This is a challenge to the other high schools,” he said. “You get you a Backpack Buddies started because you’ve got kids there, too. I don’t care where you are in Wake County.”

Eagles says he plans to speak with Wake County Board of Commissioners to ask if something can be done to launch a county-wide program.
 

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