When I hear backpack, I usually think of something I use to carry my college survival kit. For some elementary students in Moberly, Missouri, a backpack is so much more than just a fabric bag to carry pencils and books in.
Every Friday, 106 backpacks appear in the hallways of elementary schools in Moberly. These backpacks are property of this rural school district and do not have names on them. Why are they there?
Because for 106 students, these backpacks mean the difference between empty stomachs over the weekend and being well-fed. These backpacks are filled with food for students who would otherwise “go hungry between the last bell of the day Friday and the first bell Monday morning,” according to Mark Penny, the superintendent of the Moberly Public School district.
“We serve breakfast at school, and we serve lunch,” said Francine Nichols, the school staff member in charge of the backpack project. “But we began to realize that some of these children go home to houses where they literally may not eat over the weekend. And we couldn’t just sit back and not do anything to help them.”
How does the school identify these students? Usually a child will tell his or her teacher that he or she is hungry. The parents are contacted, and if they approve, the child is told that a backpack full of food will be waiting in their school hallway every Friday after the final bell rings.
The backpacks are filled “with soup, ravioli in a can, canned fruit, cereal bars, and juice,” said Nichols. The Central Missouri Food Bank donates most of this food.
Moberly isn’t the only school district in the country with students who spend their weekends hungry. If you want to help make a difference in the lives of hungry school children, volunteer at your local food bank or make a donation to a food drive.
Via AOL News