As the community prepares to go back to school, CBS 17 is partnering with Interfaith Food Shuttle to help bring awareness to significant challenges many students face. 

Specifically, the challenge to have a consistent, reliable source of nutritious food. 

There are many programs that address this risk during the school week.

Students are challenged during the weekends and hungry students have difficultly learning and staying appropriately engaged in their school work. 

Interfaith Food Shuttle has programs that address this challenge. 

Backpack Buddies and School Pantries. 

Here are some statistics and information.

1 in 5 children in North Carolina is at risk of hunger.

BackPack Buddies provides almost 2,900 children weekend meals.

BackPack Buddies is designed to provide children from low-income households with 10-12 pounds of nutritious kid-friendly groceries for the weekend when free school lunches and breakfasts are not provided.

The Food Shuttle works with each school system and individual schools to identify need.  School officials at each site then identify students to receive BackPack Buddies.  

FAST FACTS

WHAT INTERFAITH FOOD SHUTTLE DOES

  • Deliver almost 2,900 children BackPacks each week
  • Partner with 80 schools across our service area
  • Pack and distribute bags with healthy nutritious food for the weekend
  • Last Fiscal Year: 80,000 BackPacks and 888,000 pounds of food were delivered

SO WHAT’S IN A BACKPACK BUDDIES BAG?

  • Each BackPack Buddies bag includes enough food for six meals and two snacks.
  • That’s two proteins, two vegetables, one fruit, two noodles, two breakfasts, two milks, one 100 percent fruit juice and two snacks.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

  • Make a donation! Click here to donate.
  • Get involved with PORCH Durham or PORCH Raleigh and start a neighborhood food drive.
  • Hold your own food drive for BackPack Buddies. IFFS always needs items to send home with hungry children over the weekend.
  • Fund a BackPack at your local school.

“When asking a first-grade student what type of food he ate on the weekend, he replied ‘oh… we don’t eat on the weekend.’ When I asked him if he would like to be a ‘BackPack Buddy’ and explained the program to him, he started jumping up and down with an excited look on his face and exclaimed ‘YES, YES, YES!” 

INTERFAITH FOOD SHUTTLE OPERATES 27 SCHOOL PANTRIES IN 4 COUNTIES, SERVING MORE THAN 2,000 PEOPLE EVERY MONTH.

Impact

In 2016, IFFS school pantries provided 50,094 pounds of food for 19,802 individuals in about 3,686 households.  And five of the pantries didn’t even open until the fall. 

School pantries provide a welcoming and convenient space for students, their families, and the surrounding community to access nutritious food. Student volunteers often run the pantries, helping to remove the stigma of needing food, and learning the valuable lesson of helping others in need. 

A student can grab a snack or quick meal during the school day, or someone can come in and choose from a balanced selection of shelf-stable food, fresh produce, and even meats, to help feed their family.

IFFS Pantries:

WAKE COUNTY

  • Broughton High School
  • Bugg Elementary
  • Daniels Middle School (produce only)
  • East Millbrook Middle School
  • East Wake High School
  • Enloe High School
  • Knightdale High School
  • Ligon Middle School
  • Longview High School
  • Mary Phillips High School
  • Shaw University
  • Southeast Raleigh High School
  • Reedy Creek Middle School
  • Riverbend Middle School
  • River Oaks Middle School

DURHAM COUNTY

  • Brogden Middle School
  • Durham Tech
  • Durham Teen Center
  • Githens Middle school
  • Hillside High School
  • Lowe’s Grove Middle School
  • Neal Middle School
  • Northern High School
  • Southern High School

EDGECOMBE COUNTY

  • North Edgecombe High School 

JOHNSTON COUNTY

  • Smithfield-Selma High School
  • West Johnston High School

Important links

To make a donation.

For more information.

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