On Thursday, June 7, Center staff volunteered at the Blessings in a Backpack program in North Kingstown, as part of a day of service sponsored by our parent organization, Education Development Center.
Blessings in a Backpack is a national program designed to provide hunger-free weekends for children facing food insecurity. In Rhode Island, the town of North Kingstown supports the program through the public school department’s Office of Family Learning. Eligible students are given backpacks each Friday to take home. Each pack contains at least two breakfast, two snack, and one lunch food item. The food items are “kid-friendly,” which means they can be easily opened and do not require cooking other than the use of a microwave.
Our team met at Davisville Academy, where the Blessings in a Backpack staff gave us numerous jobs. We inventoried existing supplies, shopped for food items at a local Walmart, restocked shelves, and filled the backpacks for delivery to schools. Our team members that went shopping also purchased and donated a wagon that the program can use to transport filled backpacks from the assembly space to the various schools where the backpacks are distributed. Additionally, a small group of our volunteers visited the town’s food pantry and helped inventory and stock food items there.