PORCH-Durham, supporting BackPack Buddies and Beyond

Sometimes the simplest concept can have the biggest impact…like this one: Families buy a few extra items at the grocery store, and once a month they put them in bags on their porches.  Then PORCH-Durham volunteers come to pick them up, and—VOILA!—hundreds more children are being fed in Durham county every month! PORCH-Durham’s mission is to support the Backpack Buddies Program in Durham, North Carolina. And support the program, they do. The program provides 420 BackPacks full of 6 balanced meals and 2 healthy snacks every weekend during the school year for children in need—that’s 32,000 pounds of food as of February 2013.

Inspired by the PORCH (People Offering Relief for Chapel Hill-Carrboro Homes) program in Chapel Hill, three women in Durham decided to join forces and start PORCH-Durham in January of 2011. Since that time, founders Lesli Garrison, Chasie Harris, Jen Meldrum and a team of volunteers have been collecting food donations every 3rd Monday of the month from porches in neighborhoods across Durham that kind and generous folks have set out to donate. That food then goes to support Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s BackPack Buddies program. Thanks to their ongoing support, we have been able to add 4 new schools to the BackPack Buddies Program, supply our 5 pantry schools, AND supply a pantry at the Durham Teen Center.

Donations go to  John Avery Boys & Girls Club of Durham and Durham Public Schools including Eastway Elementary, Y.E. Smith Elementary, Glenn Elementary, C.C. Spaulding Elementary, Forestview Elementary, George Watts Elementary, and Central Elementary (in Hillsborough). PORCH-Durham also sends food nations directly to E.K. Powe Elementary and Club Boulevard Elementary

Additional food that is collected that doesn’t fit within suggested foods for BackPack Buddies goes to school pantries at Githens Middle School, Neal Middle School, Hillside New Technical High School, Northern High School, and Southern High School.

Learn how to get involved on their website here.