Backpack program feeds hundreds of children - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Backpack program feeds hundreds of children

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Food bank officials say many kids leave school for the weekend and go home not knowing what they are going to eat for the next couple of days. (Photo Source: Mid-South Food Bank) Food bank officials say many kids leave school for the weekend and go home not knowing what they are going to eat for the next couple of days. (Photo Source: Mid-South Food Bank)

(WMC-TV) - Somewhere in our community right now kids are going hungry.

For many, the toughest times are during the weekend when kids are not at school for things like free lunches or other reduced meals. The Mid-South Food Bank's backpack program has a goal of providing nutritious meals every weekend.

The Action News 5 Food Drive is Wednesday, December 4. Find a location near you by clicking here.

Every week volunteers sort through donated items and pack them in boxes that selected students take home in AutoZone backpacks every weekend.

"We want to make sure that there is nutritious food available, and our backpacks are very economical," said food bank president Estella Mayhue Greer.

Food bank officials say many kids leave school for the weekend and go home not knowing what they are going to eat for the next couple of days.

The six meals placed in the backpacks are all some might get. The backpack program is feeding about 1,500 kids in the Mid-South area, however officials say that is only a fraction of the kids who really need this service.

Food bank officials say of the 18 counties they serve in the Mid-South more than 122,000 children are faced with food insecurity. Recent cuts to snap benefits are expected to make things worse.

"You have to understand that a hungry child can't learn. If a child is not receiving proper nutrition then their cognitive skills are not where they need to be," said Greer.

Officials say children who have enough to eat are less prone to illness and have fewer behavior problems and perform better in school. More donations will enable the food bank to feed more children.

To find out more about the backpack program and how to donate, click here.

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