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Snack in a Backpack was randomly selected from a list of ninety-nine nominated food related charities, spanning thirty-nine states. This deserving organization will be receiving over 40 cases of whole grain product, donated from twenty-nine Whole Grains Council member companies — that’s a whole lot of whole grain snacks for those kids’ backpacks!
A small, volunteer-run non-proﬁt in rural Northern Georgia, Snack in a Backpack ﬁlls a big void for hungry kids who receive free or reduced school meals but then may go hungry on Saturdays and Sundays. The charity packs delicious and nutritious bags of food for students to eat on the weekends and holidays when they have little or no access to food. With a commitment to using healthy and non-processed foods, the organization seeks to feed minds and ﬁght hunger in their community in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Initially started in 2009 with just one hundred and twenty ﬁve kids, Snack in a Backpack now provides food to over four hundred students a week and has distributed over 30,000 bags to date. Wow! They continue to distribute bags throughout the summer, ﬁlling them with local produce in addition to food purchased from the Chattanooga (TN) Food Pantry, providing food to entire families, and the elderly.
We are so excited Snack in a Backpack will be receiving whole grain donations to contribute to their healthy and nutritious bags, and we can’t say enough about the wonderful things they are doing in their community. It was such a pleasure reading the nominations for this hard-working organization and we wanted to share some of the truly inspiring things people had to say:
I’ve seen ﬁrsthand the volunteers and commitment of all involved. They are doing work for the community/children in no eﬀorts of recognition for themselves, but for those in need!…They provide food to children in all of the schools in our county who may otherwise go hungry over the weekend when they aren’t in school to take advantage of free or reduced meals. [For] The organization [to] have the opportunity to provide healthy whole grain snacks would be amazing.
Snack in a Backpack is a grassroots non proﬁt organization which receives no government funding and is volunteer based. Not only do they feed approximately 400 hungry children weekly, but focuses on encouraging others to start similar programs. Another goal is to allow folks to get involved who may be physically unable by creating crafts to sell at local festivals to purchase food for our kids. Sharing the joy of giving is another small part of what Snack in a Backpack is doing…
This program helps feed our hungry children. Many children in our community qualify for free lunch but on weekends have little to eat. Bags are packed, delivered to schools and given to these children to take home for the weekend. This food helps not only the child but other families as well. Counselor and teachers feedback shows kids ready to learn on Monday mornings! We have a wonderful group of volunteers from age 4 to 87!
This is one of the few school backpack food programs that I’m aware of that strives to place healthy, fresh, non processed foods in each backpack. Hundreds of children who simply don’t have enough to eat in Fannin County, Georgia enjoy nutritious meals thanks to the eﬀorts of this all-volunteer organization. They do remarkable things working with a very limited budget.
We are conﬁdent that director Gaye Whalton and the many wonderful Snack in a Backpack volunteers will continue their admirable work within their community and we look forward to hearing how these “good grains” will contribute to their mission to feed minds and ﬁght hunger!
While our Good Grains for a Good Cause project is now over, we hope that all of you reading this will continue to keep your local food pantry – or some of those on our list — in mind whenever you can spare some extra food. Thanks in advance for your generosity and caring spirit. (Mallory)