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Backpack Buddies provides food for students

Raven Barton, Features Editor

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A new program has been introduced to Athens Drive; Backpack Buddies is a program designed to provide children from low-income households with nutritious kid friendly groceries for the weekend when free school lunches and breakfasts are not provided.

Jennifer Dutton, English teacher, and Kendall Boothe, from Student Services, both came up with the idea to bring Backpack Buddies to Athens. Dutton’s previous school had done a similar program and Boothe saw the need because of her job in Student Services.

“Athens is such a diverse school filled with students of different race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Sometimes I think people forget that there are students here in our school who need our help and support,” said Boothe.

There is a large portion of the Athens Drive student body who receive free and or reduced lunch, around 44 percent. Most of these students rely on school for their meals each day and do not have enough food when they go home.

“Ms. Dutton and I thought if we could come up with a plan to help these students over the weekend, we would be making a difference,” said Booth.

This program will not only affect students at Athens, but also community members. There are many groups from the community donating food to support this program and by doing so, they are also reaching out to the students; local communities groups who want to help Athens now have a specific way to do so.

“I think it’s really great that Athens is reaching out to the students past education, it really does show how we care about them. I also think Backpack Buddies is great because Athens will be making a huge impact on these students lives and I just love that,” said Mallory Tate, junior.

Backpack Buddies will let students know that there are people who care about them, not only academically, but also physically and emotionally. Backpack Buddies will help some of the students who are struggling, to worry about one less thing–food.

“I think this will help Athens Drive with morale! The students we will be serving will have their basic needs met with help from the Backpack Buddies program,” said Boothe.

One way students and teachers can get involved is by bringing in donations. Anyone can donate food that does not expire this year and or gift cards to places such as Food Lion, Harris Teeter and Walmart. All Donations can be brought to Boothe’s office in Student Services.


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The official student news site of Athens Drive High School
Backpack Buddies provides food for students