Backpack Buddies

Manon Bedouet, Photographer

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One in four children are at risk of hunger in North Carolina, that is why the Backpack Buddies program has been created. This program consists of offerings every week a bag with food for the weekend  to the students who need it.

“The students shouldn’t worry about food but about school,” said Kendall Boothe, counselor at Athens Drive High School.

A lot of schools participate in this program. The program was first created by Inter-Faith Food Shuddle, a nonpartisan, 501c3 non-profit organization and member of the Feeding America National Network of Food Banks. However, Athens Drive is independent. The food is provided by the Ekklesia church, by parents and student donations and by the key club. The bag are made to provide and two breakfasts, two lunches, three dinners and two snacks.  It contains things such as pastas, oatmeal, cereals, granola bars or fruits. Some bags are also made for the winter break, the spring break and also the summer break.

Moreover, there is a food pantry located in student services. Any student can come during the week to get something to eat. No question would be asked to them.

Kendall Boothe and Jennifer Dutton run the program at Athens Drive. They both volunteer. For them, this program goes beyond just providing food; they have developed very special relationship with the students they help.

“It’s important for the students to know that somebody cares for them at school,” said Jennifer Dutton, English teacher.

Students that benefit from this program are all in very different situations. Everything is made to keep them anonymous. 46 students are currently in the program but they are probably more you need to get into this program. Students who need food should not be afraid to ask for help. They can go and see Kendall Boothe at students services or Jennifer Dutton in room 2404.


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