Help Given From Neighbors to Neighbors
In 2011, we added King Elementary School (KES) to our programs giving us three schools serving a total of 100 children. A KOM volunteer, who also volunteers at the school, picks up and carries these bags to KES each week. Changes in the BackPack Program came about in late 2011 which brought an end to corporate funding for programs and required all participating partner agencies to develop funds to maintain the programs beginning in the next school year. Each BackPack program costs $10,000.00 per year to fund and this has been a daunting task for many agencies. Because of the need for local funding, those programs that could not help come up with the necessary funds had to be discontinued. Local area churches and civic groups have partnered with KOM to help fund our BackPack Program.
Mount Olive Elementary School was added to our program in January 2014. These bags are carried to the school by members of Faith United Methodist Church in Rural Hall; they have been involved with us in this program since we started in 2006! These two programs currently serve 73 children at these two schools.
Foods for this program are purchased from the Second Harvest Food Bank of NWNC and come pre-packaged to provide two days of meals for a single child. We purchase 63 cases of BackPack foods from the Second Harvest Food Bank of NWNC for each semester per school. The foods come to us in cases of 8 bags each, packed in gallon storage bags (see picture on right) which we then pack in double plastic bags for the children. This seems to work much better for everyone.
The BackPack Program grew out of an initiative begun in Arkansas in the mid 1990’s. A local teacher noticed many of her students who did not have sufficient food at home were often sleepy in the classrooms. She approached the local rice producers to ask them to donate food to help feed the children and the BackPack Program was born. This nationwide program, administered under the umbrella of Feeding America, the nation’s largest network of food banks, has helped feed literally millions of hungry children throughout the US.
KOM has been involved in helping feed hungry school children with backpack programs since September 2006 when we initiated our first program in cooperation with the Second Harvest Food Bank of NWNC and Lowe’s Foods. This program started at Nancy Reynolds Elementary School (NRES). The program, designed to feed 50 children, was expanded in late 2010 to include some children at Francisco Elementary School (FES) to get us to the full complement of 50 children between the 2 schools.
King Outreach Ministry