New backpack program gives Lynchburg city children food for weekend

In Lynchburg 1 out 4 people live in poverty; a large portion are children.

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Twice a week volunteers with “Food for Thought” spend hours bagging up cereal, canned food, fruits and snacks for Lynchburg’s less-fortunate kids.

“The children get enough to cover Friday night all day Saturday and all day Sunday. That’s two breakfast, two lunches, and three dinners as well as two servings of vegetables and four snacks,” Laura Bauer, director for Food for Thought and an emergency room physician, said.

The new Backpack Program feeds middle and high school students.

Every Thursday morning, these bags are packed and sent to designated schools: Linkhorne, Sandusky and Dunbar middle schools, and Heritage and E.C. Glass high schools.

Teachers distribute it to those who need it on Friday afternoons, before kids head home for the weekend. 

“Our whole goal at Food for Thought is to help these children succeed and become the best them that they can be. And also help them to feel the love and support that they of a community,” Bauer said.

In Lynchburg, one out four people live in poverty and a large portion are children.

Organizers said the toughest challenge is getting parental consent.

“The barriers of our success has been public perception about what this program is,” Keith Anderson, a member of the 650 Task Force, said.

But what started as an idea in February came to life just two months ago. And organizers know they should be helping fill a lot more tummies than what they are currently serving.

“The program is completely confidential. So we don’t have much feedback and that’s intentional. We want to honor their integrity and just be the people in the background providing the nutrition,” Bauer said.

Organizers said if you're a parent and want to sign up your children, contact their teacher or school counselor.

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