A local program got a much needed boost last week, when it received a large grant from a local grocery chain.
Jordan’s Chapel, which operates the "Feed My Lambs" Backpack Program for Critzer Elementary, received a $3,000 grant from the Food Lion Charitable Foundation last Tuesday.
The grant will help to fund the $14,000 program for next year. The program fed 129 students during the weekend this year. Students were sent two breakfasts, two lunches, three snacks, three dinners, and a drink to feed them for the duration of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Holly King, Jordan’s Chapel United Methodist Women president, talked about the grant in a press release written by church member Amber Largen.
"We are so very thankful to have received such a generous grant from the Food Lion Charitable Foundation," King said. "It will enable us to feed many children during the 2010-2011 school year. We are truly blessed."
Established in 2001, the Food Lion Charitable Foundation provides financial support for programs and organizations dedicated to feeding the hungry in the communities it serves.
Largen talked about when the program started and how far the program has come since it was started last year.
"When we started the program, we wrote in for a $1,500 grant," Largen said. "That was with our church conference. We received that grant, but we were thinking we would pack 20-30 backpacks. Thankfully, the program ballooned over a few weeks time and so did the response.
"Every time the funds have been low and we have reached out for help, the food had always been there and gone home every week. It has been an amazing thing to watch for myself. To see some weeks that the shelves get low, I think to myself if they backpacks are going to be packed this week or if we will have enough, but there has always been plenty. It has been really awesome. This is going to really help towards that, make sure there are plenty, and that this program will help into the next school year."
Largen also stressed the importance of this program in the community, as well as her desire to see them grow in surrounding areas.
"I would love to see a backpack program in every elementary school of the county," Largen said. "People I have talked to in surrounding counties have been interested in the backpack program. It would be awesome. With unemployment so high and prices of milk and food so high, sometimes people need a little bit of relief and help. This is one way that area churches and the community can help. It is awesome to be a part of it. I feel really privileged to be a part of it this year. I can’t wait until next year."
For more information on the backpack program or if you would like to donate time or money to the effort, please contact Amber Largen at 540-250-8276 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.