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Micah's Backpack food program to be organized in Washington County Public Schools

Collected food donated to students to take home on weekends

April 26, 2012

Washington County Public Schools is working with churches and other community organizations to establish the Micah’s Backpack program in each elementary school. 

The program model was established in Blacksburg, Va., as one solution to the issue of hungry students in the community.

The mission is to build partnerships among elementary schools, churches and other organizations that result in donations of food supplies to families in which hunger is an issue, especially on weekends when school is not in session.

Trinity Lutheran Church in Hagerstown brought the program to Washington County in 2009 and it now involves 16 churches and community organizations in partnership with 20 elementary schools, serving almost 300 students. 

The churches and organizations collect the food items, fill backpacks with the items and then make deliveries to participating schools each Friday so that students can take food home for the weekend.

The students return the backpacks on Monday.

More than 10,000 county students receive free or reduced-price lunches, so a coordinated effort will be made to establish a Micah’s Backpack program in each of 27 elementary schools for the 2012-13 school year, confidentially identify children who would benefit most from the program, and assist churches and organizations in each community in getting the collected food items to the students.

Each school will have a program liaison to coordinate efforts with churches and organizations.

For more information, call Teresa Thorn, schools development coordinator, at 301-766-2974 or send an email to thornter@wcps.k12.md.us.

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