By Drew Landrus
The Crab Orchard Care Center is working to raise $3,000 to sponsor county schools and Headstart programs to take part in the Second Harvest of East Tennessee weekend Backpack feeding program. The program provides a backpack of food items to children at risk of going hungry over weekend breaks from school.
Second Harvest of East Tennessee, headquartered in Knoxville, is facing a severe shortage of funds to finance the 2013-2014 Backpack food program in their 18-county area. As a result, elementary schools and Headstart programs that routinely received weekend food for “at risk” children will see program limitations for the new school year.
In Cumberland County, schools and Headstart programs that are not specifically sponsored will be limited in the number of children they can sponsor for weekend food.
In Cumberland County, 17.3 percent of the population lives in poverty, with some 9,130 people not certain when they will eat next. This poverty rate includes 2,000 children, many of which received help in the past from this initiative. Previously, about 1,500 children were enrolled in the Backpack program but, in the most recent school year, only 876 children received weekend food.
The $3,000 sponsorship will provide weekend food for every child who is in danger of hunger. Right now, one Headstart program and one school is sponsored for the 2013-’14 school year.
If you desire to help, please call Drew Landrus at 459-2187 or Mary Nelson at 707-5616. Landrus is on the board of directors for Crab Orchard Care Center and works closely with Second Harvest in Knoxville; while Mary is the current director of the Crab Orchard Care Center.
Last, if you want to make a donation to fund this program for a specific school, send your check to the Crab Orchard Care Center, 87 Commerce Street, Post Office Box 274, Crab Orchard, TN 37723.