The Rutherford County Schools Backpack Program provides over 1000 bags of food each week during the school year for students who live in homes where adequate food is often not available.
School-level coordinators tackle the logistics of helping to secure donations, packing bags for each Friday, and ensuring discreet distribution to students in need.
Research shows that food-insecure students between six and eleven years of age scored lower than their food-secure peers on a measure of child intelligence, were more likely to have seen a child psychologist, have a harder time getting along with their peers, were more likely to repeat a grade, and scored lower on standardized tests than their non-food-insecure classmates. Children with poor nutrition are sick more often too, leading them to miss classes.
Recognizing these needs, RHI Legacy Foundation provided grant funding so that Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina could provide 405 backpacks of food each week. The remainder of the bags are provided by local faith communities, additional grants, and donations from local businesses and individuals.
Truck Service, Inc. in Forest City provides bi-monthly transport of Second Harvest Backpacks from Charlotte to their local warehouse at no cost to the school system. The Rutherford County Schools Maintenance Department and Outreach Specialists then distribute these bags to each individual school.
A portion of funding for the 405 backpacks and the coordinator position in the school system is raised through RHI Legacy Foundation’s Annual Golf Classic, held this year on September 29 at Cleghorn Golf and Sports Club. If you are interested in participating or sponsoring the Golf Classic, please call tournament chair Jill Miracle at 828-202-4630 or visit the Foundation’s website.
In addition to participating in the tournament, you can help by donating through the RCS Backpack website. You can also contact the Backpack Program Coordinator Lisa Bralley at (828) 289-1717 to volunteer or to host a food drive at your business or organization.