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Backpacks For Kids' Sake

Central Virginia raises money to send a backpack full of food home with kids on the weekend

August 27, 2010|Karen Kiley | Reporter
  • Backpacks for Kid's Sake provides hungry children with food Friday night through Monday morning.
Backpacks for Kid's Sake provides hungry children with food Friday night through Monday morning.

LYNCHBURG, Va. — Thousands of children in Central Virginia depend on federally funded school breakfast and lunch programs for meals. But when the school week ends, many of those children go hungry on the weekends.

A national program through Feeding America called "Backpacks for Kids' Sake" helps provide food for children over the weekend.

Lynchburg is getting on board and raising money to feed the area's hungry children.

Church leaders met with Gleaning for the World and Blue Ridge Area Food Bank representatives Friday morning to learn about the program.

There are 6,800 elementary school children in Lynchburgand its five surrounding counties that go hungry every weekend.  Including middle and high school students, 18,000 students are in need of nutritional support, according to organizers.

"Central Virginia is the first community in the United States to make an absolute commitment that our children are not going to be hungry. It's going to take businesses, for-profit companies, churches, individuals,it's going to take everyone working together to make this happen. It is the biggest project I've ever seen in one community," said Gleaning for the World founder Ron Davidson.

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It costs $200 to feed one child for an entire school year. 

The first school to receive the book-bags will be Bass Elementary. But as more funding comes in, organizers plan to expand the program, eventually meeting the needs of children at every school in the area.

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