Kicking off our 9th year of providing weekend food to local children… Now that’s something to celebrate! At this year’s BackPack Program Kickoff, representatives from Walmart, Aiken County Schools, and Columbia County Community Connections gathered in Golden Harvest’s BackPack Volunteer Area to celebrate and share stories about what this program means to enrolled children.
Patricia Grice of Columbia County Community Connections, which partners with Golden Harvest to provide 400 children with BackPack meal packs, shared just such a story with us. Grice told us of one Friday when a child enrolled in the program did not receive her weekend meal pack due to an accidental oversight.
“This little girl was being escorted to the buses, and she was sobbing by the time she got on the bus,” Grice recounted. The bus’s driver immediately began to comfort the child and asked what was wrong. The student revealed that she had not received her weekly BackPack, and was anxious because without the extra food, she would go hungry.
After the driver phoned the school’s office, a volunteer rushed a meal pack onto the bus and into the child’s bookbag. “After that, everything was wonderful,” said Grice; “but that really shows you how important the BackPack is to these children.”
Later at the Kickoff event, the Walmart Foundation presented Golden Harvest with a grant towards feeding almost a thousand students this year. Walmart is Golden Harvest’s largest corporate donor, providing funds to support programming in addition to millions of pounds of donated food.
Golden Harvest’s Kim Robinson, Director of Outreach, summed up the BackPack initiative with these words: “Our goal is not only to provide children with food but to show them that somebody in this community cares about their needs, giving them that stability in their lives.” Grice agrees; “This program provides security for children, so they know that they have food for the weekend- and that is the one thing we don’t want to lose sight of.”
You can sponsor a local child in the BackPack program for just $5 per week, or $20 each month. sponsor a child here!