Salisbury Church Launches Backpack Meal Program for Kids in Wico - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Salisbury Church Launches Backpack Meal Program for Kids in Wicomico County

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SALISBURY, Md. - A Salisbury church is helping families who might not know where their next meal is coming from by filling backpacks with food. Organizers say those bags help make sure children, who rely on school lunches during the week, have a meal for the weekends.

Emmanuel Wesleyan Church started a new program called Backpack Pals. Volunteers meet every Thursday night to fill backpacks with food. Those bags are then delivered to seven Wicomico County elementary schools on Friday. 

"Through our program Adopt A Block, we've seen a lot of food insecurity in the Salisbury area and we wanted to do something about it," Maggie Moore, assistant director of Adopt A Block says.

The church received a $115,000 grant through the Wicomico Partnership for Family and Children. 

"These schools are elementary schools with the lowest, or the highest, FARM rates -- so free and reduced meal students," Moore says. "So those schools, 80% or higher, have students who have food insecurity and don't know where their next meal is coming from more times than not. So with that data we collected, we were able to apply for this grant and find a way to help decrease that."

40 students at each of the seven schools receive a bag. Students are asked to bring the bags back to school on Monday so they can be re-filled.

"Of the many things I've done, this is in the top 5 of being the most rewarding," volunteer James Holbrook says. Holbrook helps deliver the meals the students.

"When we stopped at the East Salisbury School, and the kids came out, we gave them a couple back packs to take in and they were just so excited," Holbrook says. "I've also heard some feedback from one of the instructors there that one of the kids was like: I can't wait until next week to see what's in my backpack."

Moore says they plan to re-apply for the grant next year to continue the program in Salisbury. 

 

 

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