Our mission is to feed chronically hungry school children in the local school system so they can grow physically and mentally. Our community as a whole benefits when kids are well nourished and well educated. We are feeding our future, one backpack at a time.
What We Do . . .
To achieve our mission and fulfill our vision, we:
- Serve as a Partner Agency to establish and operate Backpack programs and weekend feeding programs
- Provide Supplemental Food for weekends and long breaks
- Accept Donations on behalf of Backpack and weekend feeding programs from organizations that cannot or will not donate to religious organizations, such as a school’s church partner agency. If the donor directs that the donation must be used for the benefit of a particular school program, we will follow that directive.
- Raise Awareness of Childhood Hunger in our community
- Share Best Practices and serve as a forum for communication among the established and new individual Backpack and weekend feeding programs
- Recruit and Place Volunteers for existing and new programs
- Locate Storage Space for food product
- Seek Grants for the benefit of multiple Backpack Programs
Our vision is (1) to serve as an umbrella organization to help Backpack and weekend feeding programs in Forsyth County better meet the challenges before them and (2) to act as a Partner Agency with Second Harvest to establish new programs and to provide supplemental food for weekends and long school breaks.
. . . and Why We Do It.
Teachers see the effects of hunger up close, and the impact that weekend and supplemental food makes. One local teacher said she couldn’t introduce new concepts to kids until Wednesday, after they had been at school to receive the free and reduced breakfast and lunch. After the Backpack Program started, she was able to introduce new concepts on Monday!
Talking about the Backpack Program, another local teacher said, “These students have been so beaten down by life that by the time they are 8 and 9 years old, they have given up. The food has helped reverse that. The food nourishes not just their bodies. It nourishes their minds. It nourishes their emotions. It nourishes them psychologically.”
What We’ve Accomplished
- Operate 8 Feeding America Backpack programs at Cook, Gibson, Union Cross, Konnoak and Middle Fork elementary schools, Hanes and Jefferson middle schools, and Parkland High, serving more than 300 students every weekend, providing more 40,000 meals throughout the school year.
- Served more than 56,000 meals to children at 23 backpack programs during long, holiday school breaks in the 2016-2017 school year and expect to serve close to 60,000 meals this 2017-18 school year
- Provided supplemental fruit to kids at Brunson and Gibson elementary schools
- Raised awareness of childhood hunger issues by working with students at Wake Forest University and through speaking engagements at civic and church groups
- Involved hundreds of employees from major area businesses such as Wake Forest Baptist Health, Wells Fargo, Novant Health, Syngenta and BB&T in packing events
- Hosted community packing events with volunteers from community groups such as the Young Lawyers and Girl Scouts
- Been held up as an example of initiative mentioned by Mayor Joines in a speech to Winston-Salem Leadership
- Participated in the PGA Wyndham Championship charitable initiative Birdies Fore Backpacks since 2014
- Raised more than $417,000 from various community sources taking action to fight hunger since 2013
- Recipient of the 2015 Junior League of Winston-Salem Community Partner Award
To date, 97% of our donations have been used or are earmarked to purchase food. The remaining 3% was specifically designated by the donor to be used for administrative and marketing purposes.