Backpack Program Extends Into Summer Months to Provide Meals For - New York News

Backpack Program Extends Into Summer Months to Provide Meals For Students

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This is the last weekend before many area schools close for the summer.

That means some students may not have a proper meal – but one local group wants to make sure no child goes hungry.

For the past 4 years, Andrea King has stuffed backpacks to provide kids with meals for the weekend.

“The bags include their dinner for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It includes cereal, pop tarts, oatmeal, instant grits, noodles, pasta,” said Andrea King, who founded Esther’s Heart for Transformation Ministry.

“I think all kids need meals. It helps them perform better,” said parent Lori Lantos.

But for the first time, the program will extend into the summer months.

 “I guess as a parent it’s a moving issue. I hope parents are exploring options for their families,” said Lantos.

The backpack program helps students in Cabarrus and Mecklenburg County Schools.

“How the program actually started. We had a lunch buddy program. After one student finished eating, he started licking his plate. He said I am hungry and then we started the backpack program,” said King.

13 schools are part of the program and more than 400 students have benefitted from it.

In the last year alone, the group gave away more than 5,000 backpacks.

“I think tests show that when kids are getting snacks it helps the concentrate,” said Lantos.

King hopes to expand the pantry to serve more students so that no child has to starve.

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