The Backpack Ministry is a quite an operation…sorta’ overwhelming if done by yourself!
But, it WORKS,….because there is an US!
Donations for this ministry are collected a year in advance. The $$’s on hand when the school year begins determines the number of kids who will receive food each weekend for the school year. Backpack (BP) donations of $650 per kid, collected by the fall of 2017 (this years ministry), provided enough $$’s to provide food for 30 kids this school year…because there is an US!
Dollars become food when a BP purchaser (volunteer), using the provided grocery list, goes to BJ’s and to Walmart and purchases items on the list. Food purchased is then taken to our Backpack supply room at church. (This takes about 2 hrs). Each week, a different BP purchaser. Each week food is available for 30 backpacks…because there is an US!
Wednesday nights, two or three BP organizers (volunteers) come early for family night dinner. They set out on tables all of the food that will be put into the 30 backpacks for this week. (This takes approx. 30 minutes…because there is an US!) There is enough food put in the bags for Friday night, all day Saturday and all day Sunday…for 30 kids! There are cans of vegetables, jars of peanut butter, packages of crackers, containers of milk, soup, containers of juice, fresh fruit, etc, Approximately 25 different items go into each bag…25 items x 30 kids…hummm….not a light load! As part of our Wednesday night activities, all of us …young and old and those in between…become BP packers! We form an assembly line, take our “double bagged bags”, move down the long table of organized food, taking one of each item and placing it into our bag. The bags are carried and placed in the BP deliverer’s (volunteer) vehicle. This takes about 20 min…because there is an US.
On Thursday morning, these 30 bags of food are dropped off at Ginter Park Elementary School (GPES). The BP deliverer calls the school to let them know the expected time of arrival (usually around 9:30am). Two GPES staff meet the BP deliverer with carts on which to load the bags to be taken into the school…bags of food to be given to 30 kids chosen by the principal to receive this food for the school year. Forty week-ends 30 kids have food..this happens because there is an US!
YOU can be a BP donor, a BP purchaser, a BP organizer, a BP packer, a BP deliverer…or any or all of the above and any time! Send an email to get involved!
The BP ministry works, because there is an US!
(Reflection written by Dixie Leathers)