Buddies asked to fill up kids' backpacks with food

The Backpack Buddies program provides thousands of weekend meals to students who depend on free or reduced-price school lunches.

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CARY, N.C. — Local radio personalities want their fans to become school children's buddies – by donating food to fill up their backpacks.
Mix 101.5, WRAL-FM, kicked off its Backpack Buddies Food Drive in  the parking lot of the Old Navy store in Cary's Crossroads Plaza. Morning show hosts Bill and Sherri will be collecting food, backpacks and money.
The donations go to a student food service organized by the InterFaith Food Shuttle. That program benefits the 91,000 children who depend on free or reduced-price school lunches in seven counties around Raleigh.

The goal is to make sure the children have enough healthy meals and snacks to carry them through the weekend.

Volunteers stuff backpacks with enough food for six healthy meals and two snacks. The children take the backpacks over the weekend and return them on Monday.

In 2007, the Backpack Buddies Program provided 120,000 meals for children.

People are encouraged to donate the following food types:

  • canned meats, vegetables and soups with pop-tops
  • individual-sized portions of cereal, grits and oatmeal
  • microwaveable meals, such as Easy Mac and Spaghetttos
  • healthy snacks, such as granola bars, raisins and Goldfish
  • 100 percent-juice boxes and bottles and shelf-stable milk.

The program can also use new backpacks and monetary donations.

The marathon food drive lasts until 6 p.m.