Kelly Edwards, Ministry Coordinator for Micah’s Backpack
The Micah’s Backpack program in Washington County follows a model established in Blacksburg, VA. The program is designed to feed hungry students through a partnership between each elementary school and one or more churches/organizations in its community. Brought to Washington County in 2010, the program now serves over 775 students in 28 elementary schools and involves partnerships with 45 churches and 2 private schools. Over 10,000 students in Washington County Public Schools receive free or reduced lunches and for many this lunch will be the last hot meal of the day. Children are especially hungry over the weekend when school is not in session
How Micah’s Backpack Works at HCF
To prepare the backpacks, Hilltop Kids pack up the food on Sunday morning, making sure that they pray for the kids that will be receiving the meals. The bags are then delivered to the designated school later that week. Each Friday afternoon identified elementary school children receive a bag or backpack of healthy food and snacks. On Monday each child returns the empty bag or backpack to the school to be restocked with food for the following Friday. The filled backpack may include the following individual serving-size items: cereal, oatmeal, juice, tuna, peanut butter, crackers, macaroni and cheese, soup, applesauce, fruit cups, spaghetti, ravioli, beef stew, canned vegetables, and other nutritious food. For a full list of suggested foods click here. Only restriction in donating – NO GLASS containers.
Who receives backpacks?
Eligible students are identified by the school principal and a designated school staff member such as the counselor, social worker, or community liaison. Confidentiality of program participants is maintained by the school. A permission form is provided for the parent/guardian of each eligible student by the principal or designated school staff member. The form must be signed by a parent or guardian and returned to the school before a child may participate.
How is Micah’s Backpack funded
Some people have wondered why we ask for donations rather than seek out grants….The Hagerstown Religious council has provided 3 grant funded purchases from the MD food bank at reduced rates. We also receive a stipend of $20 per child each time, totaling $100, an order is placed with the food bank. The MD Food Bank has also allowed us to order as much above our allotment at the reduced rate and that aides our stocking out pantry but we still need your generous donations of funds and food.
How you can help!
HCF currently sponsors 5 children attending Jonathan Hager Elementary. You can help by donating food, helping to pack the backpacks, or delivering them to the school each week.
If you would like to be involved in Micah’s Backpack here at HCF contact Kelly Edwards through our Contact Us form and mention ‘Micah’s Backpack’ in the subject line.