1/4 children in the state of South Carolina battle hunger every day. While schools offer free and reduced lunches to feed children during the week, on the weekends many children are staring at an empty pantry.
But at the Lowcountry Food Bank, volunteers are filling plastic bags with food to set kids up for success.
The Food Bank’s CEO, Pat Walker, says, “In order to be in that best learning environment, they have to have proper nutrition in order to learn.”
But kids don’t always get the food they need from home.
Walker says, “We help teachers identify those signs of hunger, like coming to school very tired on Monday morning, not being able to concentrate on their work, being distracted.”
For the kids who are identified as in danger of going hungry, the Lowcountry Food Bank started the Backpack Buddies program. Every Friday, these kids get a backpack filled with enough food to last til Monday.
Walker says, “The backpack as two breakfast meals in it, two entrees, two fruits, and a granola bar. One of our top priorities is to make sure that they have healthy, nutritious food for the weekend.”
The local Lowcountry Food Bank serves children from Myrtle Beach to Hilton Head.
Walker says, “We don’t always realize the struggle that so many children have with hunger. We actually serve 3,200 children every week through our Backpack Buddies program.”
And filling over 3,000 backpacks every week is no small task, so they urge people to come volunteer. If your child qualifies for free or reduced lunch and could benefit from the Backpack Buddies program, talk to their school about how they can be involved.