Volunteers at the North Carolina Research Campus, led by Jomari Torres, M.D., have been partnering with Shady Brook Elementary School in Kannapolis since October 2015 to provide food for children in need. This effort, modeled on Feeding America’s BackPack Program, provides food for children who regularly experience hunger, especially during weekends, because they do not have enough resources at home to purchase food. Children in need are sent home from school on Fridays with backpacks filled with foods that they can either warm up themselves or that require little to no cooking. This program runs throughout the school year and is off during the summer vacation.
On October 2016, the program expanded to include students in need at Harris Road Middle School and Early College High School, both located in Concord, thanks to two significant donations from Food Lion grocery stores and the nonprofit motorcycle club Star Touring and Riding Chapter 443.
Most recently the program was able to include students from Jackson Park Elementary school here in Kannapolis. These efforts are only possible with the assistance of individuals like yourself who make it a priority to donate either food items or monetary support for these children on a weekly basis.
With the upcoming school year starting on August 28, 2017, we are starting to collect food items or donations in preparation for upcoming weeks. The program continues to collect food and deliver them on a weekly basis to students at Shady Brook, Harris Road, Early College High School, and Jackson Park Elementary school. The food items most needed include: macaroni and cheese, canned pasta, peanut butter and jelly, bread, canned soup, canned fish and meat, canned vegetables and beans, applesauce, Jell-O in packs, healthy granola bars, unsweetened packaged fruit, low-sugar dry cereals, and fresh fruits including bananas, apples and oranges.
If you’d like to contribute to this backpack program, you can take donations to the Nutrition Research Institute, room 1315, 500 Laureate Way, Kannapolis, NC 28081. Food is delivered to the schools each Thursday at 11 AM. Torres’ group also accepts cash donations, which she and her volunteers use to purchase groceries for the backpacks. There is a collection box by the register in the Lettuce Eat Café.
“This is an ongoing need; therefore, we plan to continue this project for as long as we can. These children must eat every day,” says Torres. “We are very thankful to all those who are making this weekly food drive possible through their donations.”
For more information, contact Jomari Torres at 704-223-1320 or firstname.lastname@example.org