BackPack Buddies

   

Each week during the school year, the Junior League of Raleigh is making a difference in the lives of children from food-insecure homes at Lacy Elementary School. Through our BackPack Buddies program, these children receive a package containing six balanced meals and two healthy snacks at the end of every week during the traditional school year. Children are selected for the program by school principals, guidance counselors and the facilitators of various after-school programs.

In 2010 JLR partnered with the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle to establish a BackPack Buddies program, and since then, our program has steadily grown from serving just a handful of children to providing healthy, supplemental nutrition to more than 60 children this school year. Our bags are a critical resource because as studies have shown, childhood food insecurity can lead to developmental, health and behavioral problems, and can make it more difficult to concentrate and do well in school. These children are better prepared to learn and grow thanks to the healthy weekend meals and snacks provided by JLR and our generous donors.

Fast facts about BackPack Buddies:

  • In North Carolina, 1 in 5 kids under the age of 18 does not have enough to eat, making our state the second highest in the country for child food insecurity.
  • A donation of $350 provides a child with a weekly backpack filled with nutritious food throughout the school year.
  • A donation of $40 provides all children we serve each week with two additional apples each week.
  • For the 2014-2015 school year, JLR's BackPack Buddies program will deliver backpacks to 61 food insecure children at Lacy Elementary School each week.
  • JLR's BackPack Buddies team is the first group working with the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle in the area to deliver fresh foods to children with their weekend bags. Each week, the team has delivered at least two apples to each child.

We believe hunger is unacceptable! Children deserve to have healthy meals and the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty.

It would be impossible for BackPack Buddies to have such an impact without help from numerous individuals and groups. For more information about this program or to donate food or funds, please contact us at backpack@jlraleigh.org.