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BackPack Buddies Annual Drive: Filling Backpacks, Changing Lives

Families helping Families. Kids helping kids. A community united by the belief that all children should come to school nourished and ready to learn. That is the heart of BackPack Buddies. [box type="note" size="medium" border="full"]EVENT INFO: August 20th #BackPackBuddies Drive with MIX 101.5[/box]

We are constantly inspired by the generosity of our community during our annual BackPack Buddies Drive with MIX 101.5 WRAL-FM. This year we hope YOU will join us Wednesday, August 20th as we change the lives of hungry children, one backpack at a time. Just read this testimonial from a BackPack Buddies Coordinator at one of our elementary schools:

"It just so happened a child mentioned to her teacher that she was hungry because she and  her brother and her mother had to share one apple for breakfast that morning. They were hungry – they were out of food. And the next day I delivered a backpack of food to her classroom, and the teacher said that child lit up like a Christmas tree, she was so excited to see that food. That tells you that you’re making a difference right there.”

3 ways you can get involved with our BackPack Buddies Drive

  1. LISTEN to MIX 101.5 all day Wednesday and spread the word to all your friends! Join the conversation on Twitter (@FoodShuttle), Facebook (InterFaithFoodShuttle), and Instagram (@FoodShuttle) using #BackPackBuddies.
  2. DONATE $$ Just $35/month will feed a child every weekend for an entire year. Donate online all week by clicking here.
  3. DONATE FOOD Children need HEALTHY food, not just any food. Please donate non-refrigerated milk, 100% juices, meats & stews, breakfast items, and canned fruits & vegetables. Click here for more healthy donation suggestions.

2014 BackPack Buddies Drive locations

Inter-Faith Food Shuttle and MIX 101.5 will be accepting food and/or monetary donations from 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. On-air talent from MIX 101.5 will also be on-site and happy to meet you!

BackPack Buddies

  • Brier Creek - RTP (in front of Dick’s Sporting Goods) *NEW LOCATION*
    • 6am-10am Gene & Julie
    • 10am-3pm Diane Ramsey
    • 3pm-6pm Jim Kelly
  • Crossroads Plaza - Cary (in front of Old Navy)
    • 6am-9am David Crabtree & Vanna Fox
    • 9am-11am Vanna Fox
    • 11am-3pm Gene & Julie
    • 3pm-6pm Jami Caskey

Why give to Inter-Faith Food Shuttle's BackPack Buddies?

The statistics for North Carolina are too high: 1-in-4 children is at risk for hunger. Here in our own backyard, the numbers are even more heart-wrenching. In the 7 counties IFFS services, nearly 116,000 low-income children (43%!) receive free and reduced-price lunch at school. But on weekends, bare cupboards and rumbling bellies are a reality for many of these children.

That's where Inter-Faith Food Shuttle's BackPack Buddies program steps in. BackPack Buddies provides children from food-insecure homes with 6 balanced meals and 2 healthy snacks at the end of every week. The child recipients - who are selected by school principals, guidance counselors, and supervisors of various after school programs - bring their food home discreetly each Friday in a backpack. And this backpack food completely changes what a weekend means for them and their families. Said one parent of a BackPack Buddies child recipient:

"The food bags have made a difference to my family by providing not only snacks that the children can open by themselves by also food that we can cook as a family."

BUT WE CANNOT DO IT ALONE!!

The school year is upon us, and we need YOUR help more than ever before. During the 2013-2014 school year, 1,850 children were served 68,450 BackPacks at 55 sites in 7 counties. And the need is growing.

If you are not in a position to give but would still like to make a difference, we encourage kind hearts of all ages to start your own fundraiser or hold a food drive of your own! You are never too young to help those in need, just ask William (aka “The Food Drive Kid”), the Riehs kids, Elle, or Campbell & Joe Thomas.

In addition, your corporation, church, or civic group can become a sponsor or partner for BackPack Buddies! In addition to providing funds & food, experience the rewarding feeling of packing & delivering the BackPacks to children at one of the schools we serve.

Click here to learn about Inter-Faith Food Shuttle programs targeting Children's Hunger, including mobile meals, school pantries, and kids cafes.

By Lindsay Humbert, IFFS Digital Media Specialist. Contact: Lindsay@foodshuttle.org