KOM has been involved in the backpack program since September 2006, when we began in cooperation with the Second Harvest Food Bank of NWNC and Lowe’s Foods. The food bags are carried to the school by members of Faith United Methodist Church in Rural Hall; they have been involved with us since we started in 2006 and continue to this day!
The program kicked off at Nancy Reynolds Elementary School and was initially designed to feed 50 children. However, the area was expanded in late 2010 to include children at Francisco Elementary School so we could reach the full complement of 50 children. In 2011, we added King Elementary School to this program, serving a total of 100 children, and in January 2014, Mount Olive Elementary joined the program.
In late 2011, changes swept through the BackPack program that brought an end to corporate funding and required all partner agencies to develop their own funds. Many nonprofits were unable to find the local funding needed for their own programs, and were forced to discontinue. Each year, the backpack program costs $10,000 to run, and without the donations, blessings, and partnerships of our community we could not fund our backpack program.
In the 1990’s, an Arkansas teacher noticed that many of her students were not able to pay attention because of how hungry they were. She approached local rice producers to ask them to donate food, and this cooperation eventually led creation of the Backpack program. This nationwide program, administered by Feeding America, helps to feed millions of hungry children throughout the US.
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, and feed over 100 children!