Backpack Buddies provide weekend nourishment | News
THOMASVILLE, GA- Thousands of south Georgia kids eat healthy meals each school day thanks to the school lunch program. But many miss out on good meals when they're not in class.
Volunteers in Thomasville are making sure some of those students don't go hungry on the weekends.
They hope their unique program will catch on around the state.
Some kids may refer to a heavy backpack as a curse, but for 300 kids in Thomasville, it's nothing but a blessing. The non-profit foundation Backpack Buddies was created to fight childhood hunger in the community.
"The funding comes from donations. From churches, we've spoken to several service organizations and they've been very generous, and just individuals that feel that they don't want to have hungry children here in Thomasville," Kathy Dyess, Backpack Buddies CEO.
Every Friday, 300 students from schools in Thomasville and Thomas County are sent home with backpacks full of packaged or canned food.
79 of those students attend Harper Elementary. "With inflation going with food prices and what it costs, it's a welcomed site for the kids. They get real excited," said Principal Allan Rodemoyer
Organizers say they've received great feedback from the community.
"Well the most important feedback we've gotten is from the teachers because they are seeing an improvement in the childrens' attitude, in their attendance, and being able to stay focused more frequently," Dyess said.
Organizers say while the foundation has really taken off, there is still more work to be done.
"Our goal is to have all the children who need this mission, we want to have them all served in Thomasville and Thomas County. That's our goal and we hope we're not going to stop until we get it made," said Dyess.
Organizers say they hope their idea will one day spread to all other communities in Georgia and throughout the country.
The Backpack Buddies Foundation is happy to accept donations. You can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 665, Thomasville, GA 31799.
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