"Can you even imagine having free or reduced price lunch at school on Friday...then going home and having no dinner that night, no breakfast, lunch or dinner on Saturday OR Sunday, and then returning to school on Monday morning...expected to be ready to learn? THAT is when you might begin to understand hunger."
- Alice Prevatt, Founder, Upstate Backpack Blessings
Alice Prevatt witnessed this heartbreaking situation many times when she worked in a local middle school cafeteria. Inspired to make a real difference, she created Backpack Blessings and began collecting donated food, organizing and packing it in her kitchen. She originally served three schools, but word spread and the program quickly grew.
Last month I wrote about my involvement with Backpack Blessings and the ongoing and often urgent need for food and donations. Also inspired to make a real difference, I got to work on my own special donation...brand development, logo design and a website design/build/launch for this very deserving organization! Please take a look upstatebackpackblessings.org.
This project was so enjoyable. With the development of the logo and the website, I wanted to express all the love that goes into the collection and distribution of food for students on a weekly basis. I have spent time in that Upstate Backpack Blessings (we've added "Upstate" to help distinguish the program from others in our state) Food Pantry and I can attest to the fact that the volunteers fret, smile, cheer and even cry as they work to make sure that each child has a "full bag" of food, snacks and drinks to take home every weekend. With the use of friendly, bright colors, engaging photos and detailed program information, I hope that this site will be useful for gaining volunteers and partners, raising awareness and easing accessibility to the program, and relieving Alice and her volunteers from office work (emails and phone calls).
Upstate Backpack Blessings (UBB) is a volunteer-based, donation-driven organization that provides bags of food to 23 schools and serves nearly 200 elementary, middle and high school students. Alice says that once a child starts with the program in elementary school, if things don't change rather drastically at home, that weekly bag of food will more than likely accompany that student all the way through high school.
Over 34,000 students in Greenville County Public Schools rely on free or reduced breakfasts and lunches while in school Monday through Friday. Students served by UBB count on their weekend bags that they pick up on Friday afternoons as the leave school for the weekend, a critical time when they do not have access to school meals and often go without or have very little food.
Can you even imagine hunger? You can make a very real and immediate difference in the lives of children by organizing a UBB Food Drive, volunteering in their Food Pantry or by donating funds toward the purchase of food. Please consider how you can make a difference. Thank you. <3
Ronnetta Hatcher Griffin
Mrs. South Carolina 2015