Local News

Backpack Buddies collect donations for children in need

Posted July 24, 2009 5:38 p.m. EDT
Updated July 28, 2009 10:36 a.m. EDT

— This weekend donations are being accepted in the Triangle for a program to help hungry children.

Backpack Buddies provides food for elementary and middle school students who are eligible for free and reduced lunches at school.

While school is in session the program provides students with food for the weekend. Eligible students receive backpacks filled with enough food for six healthy meals and two snacks. The children take the backpacks over the weekend and return them on Mondays.

During the summer, the program has sets up in a community center or goes to individual neighborhoods to deliver individual lunches to children in need. When delivering to neighborhoods, volunteers hand out lunches in paper bags.

“What were those families going to do when those kids were home…over the holidays, over the weekends?” said Jill Bullard, president of the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. “They needed to feed those kids those extra six meals and snacks.”

People can donate backpacks at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, 410 Blackwell St. in Durham, and the University of Phoenix locations at 5511 Capital Center Drive and 8045 Arco Corporate Drive, Suite 100, both in Raleigh, and 639 Executive Place in Fayetteville. The organizations are not accepting food donations for this particular drive.

Where to donate

The donations go to a student food service organized by the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. Of the 91,000 children in seven counties that receive free and reduced-price lunches, about 1,100 participate in the Backpack Buddies program.

“They feel like they’re helping their families. They can’t wait to go show their parents,” Bullard said.

Dorcilla Kamissoko said her cousins get meals through Backpack Buddies.

“Some people are not as fortunate as others,” Kamissoko said.

Anyone interested in receiving support from Backpack Buddies should contact the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle at 919-250-0043 for more information.