For more than 9 years, Food for Families NC has been helping children and families get the nutritious and easy-to-prepare food they need to get enough to eat on the weekends. The original function and goals of Food for Families NC was to work with school systems and provide bags of food which could be placed in a child’s backpack. This process was from Kindergarten to any age child which had needs for them and their family. Historically, we have made available from 500 to 800 bags of food weekly. This process was working up to mid-March 2020. With the hardship that COVID19 has brought, many of our students still do not attend school “in-person” to receive food. We have also seen the increased need for food as many families have suffered economic and job loss during this time. Because of this, our mission now has evolved to providing more than just “weekend food”. Our focus and efforts are to eradicate hunger in families in our communities. We started home deliveries with the help of social workers, school staff, and volunteers.
Today, bags of food are packed and assembled and then distributed weekly to families in up to 35 public schools throughout Union and Anson counties. Home deliveries still take place today. These bags contain enough staple food items to sustain families throughout the weekend. But, unfortunately, we are only scratching the surface of the true need. There are hungry, needy children in every school in our area.
The above image is an example of what is bagged for each student for the duration of the weekend. These bags are packed light enough for an elementary school child to take home. Our food that we bag is retrieved through generous donations from various organizations or purchased in bulk with money raised through monetary donations.
For years, teachers and administrators across Union County Schools have witnessed a dire need in many of their students. Students arrive to school following the weekend and many have not eaten since their free or reduced lunch at school on Friday. This literally creates a learning and discipline disability socially and in the classroom. We knew that we could make a difference in these kids’ lives by providing food for them for the weekend. So, early in 2012 The Backpack Ministry of First Baptist Church Indian Trail (FBCIT) was born and supported by a hand-full of concerned members. Our humble beginnings were highlighted by us renting a storage building for $1 per month, and packing and distributing nutritious backpacks of food to 20 families in nearby schools. These same teachers and administrators mentioned earlier began to see an immediate difference in these children’s attitudes, discipline and school work. We knew that the success we were seeing in these children could be multiplied across the entire Union County School system. But, we needed more space, resources, volunteers and food.
We quickly out grew that space and moved to an office building which was donated to us. In a short period of time, we grew from serving 20 to over 200 families and outgrowing the office building we were using. We then moved into a warehouse that was graciously donated to us. However, we knew we needed the support of the church, community and local businesses to meet this ever-growing need. In 2014, we applied for our 501(c)(3) and it was approved. We changed the name to Food for Families NC, working under Backpack Ministry, Inc.
In 2018, we acquired our own facility at 4393A Indian Trail Fairview Road. We rely on the selfless donations from individuals, churches, volunteers and gracious businesses to meet the weekly needs of Food For Families.
Thankfully, just in 2020 alone, Food for Families NC has delivered over 36,510 bags/boxes of food to needy, hungry children and their families in Union County and surrounding areas.
We will continue to grow, serve and help feed families in need. Be a part of this wonderful cause and help us continue to reach and serve hungry children and families by making a donation today!