Children on Hilton Head Island are hungry.
Many do not have enough to eat on the weekends.
47% receive full or subsidized meals at school.
Almost half of the total enrollment in the public elementary schools on Hilton Head Island receive full or subsidized breakfasts and lunches on school days.
Backpack Buddies is helping.
Backpack Buddies of Hilton Head Island is a non-profit organization established to help feed the neediest public elementary school children who are already receiving subsidized meals at school, but who may be going hungry on the weekends.
Backpack Buddies partners with Lowcountry Food Bank to provide a weekend backpack of nutritional food to public elementary school children selected by school-based social workers with parental approval. This partnership increases our buying power: twenty dollars worth of food can be obtained for one dollar through the food bank. Lowcountry Food Bank belongs to Feeding America, a national network of over 200 food banks that track hunger and services for 250,000 families. Backpack Buddies is an initiative of Feeding America.
Here’s how we do it:
Volunteers pick up nutritional food monthly from a Lowcountry Food Bank storage facility in Yemassee and deliver it to churches on Hilton Head Island for storage. Other volunteers then pack the food in plastic bags at the church and deliver to the schools. School personnel put the plastic bags in the backpacks and distribute them to students (who remain anonymous) every Friday. The empty backpacks are returned to school Monday or Tuesday and held for repacking the following Friday.
What’s in a backpack?
A typical backpack might contain 2 individual servings of cereal, 2 milks, applesauce, raisins, granola bar, peanut butter and 2 entrees such as pasta o’s with beef or red beans with rice.
Backpack Buddies of HHI is an ecumenical initiative:
One voice, from many faiths, coming together to raise awareness.
This organization grew out of a community-wide panel discussion held at Congregation Beth Yam in March 2010. After that meeting the Hunger and Homeless Coalition was formed, partnership with Lowcountry Food Bank was established, and people from all over the island became involved. Currently seven churches participate actively in this program.
Many more children are in need.
According to school personnel, the need is much greater.
You can help.
It only costs $151 per child per school year to provide food for 42 weekends, but all contributions help meet and expand the number of hungry children we can help. Each contribution is greatly appreciated and we thank you for your support.
Backpack Buddies of Hilton Head Island is a program of the Hunger and Homeless Coalition on Hilton Head Island which is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Please write your check to: Hunger and Homeless Coalition and specify “Backpack Buddies” in the memo area. Mail to Hunger and Homeless Coalition, P.O. Box 22738, Hilton Head Island, SC 29925 or donate right here on this website.
To volunteer or for more information, call (843)342-3386.