Mix 101-5

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."


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

"If I didn't get a BackPack..."

If you have ever thought hunger is not a problem in our community, consider this comment from a Wake County 3rd grader, just this past week:

"My mom is working but when she gets her check she doesn't have enough money to buy enough food for all of us. I live with my Mom, Dad, and four brothers and sisters...There have been times when there wasn't any food or enough food. Then, we ask a lady for some food, and she gives us some. Some nights we don't have food - I eat breakfast and lunch at school, and that's it. Most nights we don't eat dinner, or only some people eat because there's not enough for everybody."

There are TENS of THOUSANDS of children just like this young girl in our schools.

Through BackPack Buddies, we're able to provide the children most in need with nutritious meals over the weekend so they can come to school nourished and ready to learn. But so many more still need food - and YOU can help us feed them!

Donate Food or Funds this Wednesday, August 21st at the Mix 101.5 BackPack Buddies Food Drive!

During the 2012-2013 school year, we....DSC_0030

  • Fed 1687 children each week throughout the year at 55 sites
  • Distributed 59,175 BackPacks
  • Filled with 355,050 meals / 710,100 pounds of food

But over 119,000 children in the greater Triangle area applied for free and reduced price lunch last year – we NEED to reach more of them – and YOU can help us by donating food or funds!

You can feed a child for $35 a month!

  • $350 per academic year provides a child a BackPack filled with nutritious food each weekend for a 10-month school year.
  • $420 per year provides a child with food each week year-round.

Need more convincing?

Here’s another comment we received just this past week from a Wake County 5th grade student:

“I’ve been getting a backpack since half of last year and this year…When I get home with my backpack, I unload it, put the food away, eat a granola bar, drink two juice boxes, and eat the apple…I feel good about getting a BackPack. Since my Mother was fired, we don’t have a lot of money, so that’s pretty much what I eat all weekend. During the rest of the week, I cook up some noodles that I’ve saved from the bag. If I didn’t get a backpack, I would go without eating or eat a can of vegetables. I have gone a day without eating before.”

Donate now to help!  Because hunger is unacceptable, and no child should have to go without eating.



Thanks to Everyone for making our BackPack Buddies Food Drive a Huge Success!

Wow! Thursday proved yet again why the Triangle is a great place to live!

Watch this video for a special thanks and donation totals from Jill Staton Bullard:

The response to the Mix 101.5 WRAL-FM BackPack Buddies food drive was overwhelming. Over $27,000 was donated to make sure children have access to healthy meals over the weekend.  We are still sorting and weighing all the food donations. It is a tremendous amount, over 10,000 pounds!

Thanks to everyone who took time from their day to come out to donate.  Whether you made it by the two locations or contributed online, your gift will have a powerful impact on the lives of children.

Special thanks to our friends at Mix 101.5 Wral-FM.  Their enthusiasm for feeding children is real and their dedication is unwavering.  We couldn't have done it without them.


Click here for more pictures on our Flickr site from the event last Thursday!

Food Drive Tomorrow!

Help feed hungry kids tomorrow at the MIX 101.5 WRAL BackPack Buddies Food Drive! Everyone can join with MIX 101.5 WRAL-FM  and Inter-Faith Food Suttle to give children in need 6 meals and 2 healthy snacks on weekends during the school year by dropping off food, new backpacks, or a monetary donation.

Food you can donate:

  • pop-top canned fruits and vegetables
  • individual-sized breakfast items like cereals, grits and oatmeal
  • pop-top canned meats and fish
  • healthy snacks: granola bars, Goldfish, dried fruit and raisins
  • meat-based soups and stews
  • 100% juice in cans, plastic bottles or boxes
  • individual-sized shelf-stable milk

Read this for more details about the Food Drive, and we'll see you tomorrow!