AUGUSTA, Ga. -- With the continued support of Procter & Gamble, another one of our region’s poorest schools will be able to provide food to eligible, at-risk children. Procter & Gamble has granted $15,000 to provide 150 children with weekend meal BackPacks at Jenkins-White Elementary Charter School, where 97.8% of the students are eligible for a fully subsidized lunch.
Currently, Richmond County struggles with a poverty rate of 33.7% for children under the age of 18. Through the BackPack Program, Golden Harvest aims to improve the behavior and performance of participating students by providing them with food that they would not otherwise have. By making weekend meals available for the children, they are able to focus on their studies rather than worrying where and when they will receive their next meal.
Golden Harvest Food Bank’s BackPack Program currently serves 18 schools in 13 counties. The BackPack Program provides weekend meals for at-risk children. On the last day of the school week, the BackPacks are discreetly placed in the backpacks of students enrolled in the program by site staff or volunteers at the school. Donations to the BackPack Program are an important source of funding, along with program grants. Each BackPack costs $5 – the cost of sponsoring a child’s BackPacks for a 32-week school term is only $160.
The goal for the BackPack Program is to sustain and extend it to reach into all 30 counties served by Golden Harvest. In the 30 county service area, food insecurity is at 22.7%, and poverty among children at 30.6%. Area-wide, 59.08% of students are eligible for free and reduced lunch, with a projected 11,927 who don’t have regular access to weekend food during the school year.
Golden Harvest Food Bank’s mission is to End Hunger in our 30-county service area in Georgia and South Carolina. The Food Bank was founded in Augusta, Georgia, in 1982, and now operates from three distribution centers – Augusta, GA and Aiken and Liberty, SC. Golden Harvest is a locally-supported 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides grocery products to the hungry through direct service programs and a network of more than 400 partner agencies. Golden Harvest distributed more than 12.8 million pounds of grocery products to those in need in fiscal year 2010.
Golden Harvest Food Bank is a member of Feeding America. For more information on how you can help end hunger in our community, visit www.goldenharvest.org.