11-17-15 – One in five American children face food insecurity. During the school week, most of these children depend on the federal free and reduced meal program their school offers. Sometimes, the meals at school are the only ones they get. When the school closes it doors on Friday afternoon, many of these children go home to empty cupboards and empty bellies for 65 hours until they return to school on Monday morning. That’s where Blessings in a Backpack comes in and Nease IB Students are leading the way.
Nease IB students manage the entire Blessings in a Backpack project every week. Their tasks includes ordering food, communicating with the volunteers each week, picking up the food orders from Publix, unpacking and assembling the food to be packed, packing the food and delivering the food to a St. Johns County Elementary school. Patrick Farrar (pictured above on the left) leads this project each week with Oliver Hodge (not pictured). Together they make this event a fun and fulfilling experience for the Nease IB students who participate.
Currently 200 Blessing in a Backpack bags are packed each week by 8 to 10 volunteers. We are hoping to expand the number of students who will receive Blessings in a Backpack from Nease to at least 300 in the coming months.
Each week Oliver Hodge (pictured above) delivers the 200 Blessings in a Backpack packages to a local elementary school.
Pictured above is food prepared for packing in an assembly line process perfected by our IB students.
Students (above) place food items in a plastic grocery bag which can be stowed in a student’s backpack and taken home for the weekend.
Above are sample food items for Blessing in a Backpack. The food shown represents the food sent home for one student for the weekend.