AAWGT: Making a difference in our community!
2016 Grantee: Services from the Heart
Backpack Buddies Program
Services from the Heart, Inc. is an all-volunteer 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization providing nutritional meals, snacks, and beverages to children attending Title I Schools within Anne Arundel County, MD. Backpack Buddies serves children who are at risk of experiencing a food shortage over weekends, holidays, and extended school breaks. Their mission is to reduce the impact of poverty by providing weekly backpacks of food to children in need and to create volunteer opportunities within the community. Services from the Heart Backpack Buddies Program has been providing weekly backpacks of food since March 2013 to children who are economically disadvantaged.
For the current 2016-2017 school year, they are serving 75 children attending Eastport (Annapolis, MD), Hilltop (Glen Burnie, MD), and Belle Grove (Brooklyn Park, MD) Elementary Schools. Backpack Buddies serves children who access free and reduced-price lunches at school. The students are identified as “in need” by the schools' Principal and Professional Counselor (Program Coordinator). Every Friday, participants in the program receive a food backpack containing 6 meals, 3 healthy snacks, 2 beverages (milk box and 100% juice box) and two pieces of fresh fruit. The program also covers extended holidays and breaks (an average of 10 days), with approximately 17 meal servings and 20 snacks.
L to R: Pres and Founder Donna Wilson-Johnston, volunteer Saskia Berg, volunteer Val Shinnamon, Board Member Barb McSherry, Treasurer Lisa Feinman, volunteer Leonie, and Board Member David Petrillo.