Backpack program provides hope with seven pounds of food

Feb. 9, 2024



Catawba County United Way


Nearly one out of five children do not have access to clean, healthy food, according to Feeding America

But The Corner Table and their Backpack Program are working to fix this locally. They are a volunteer based, non-profit organization in Catawba and Alexander County. They are also a funded partner of the Catawba County United Way through the Youth Council community grant program.

"There is nothing worse than knowing children are going hungry in this community," Amanda Drum, the Backpack Program coordinator said, “Our goal is to bridge the gap between hunger and them [children] receiving a good quality education.”

Due to having a background in social work, Drum feels it is very important to have “a boots on the ground approach” when it comes to tackling childhood hunger. She and more than 200 volunteers devote hours of their time to stocking the shelves with donated and purchased food and filling and delivering the bags that will go out to the children.

The Backpack Program provides students at local schools bags of food to take home every weekend for an entire school year. They contain a variety of different foods ranging from popcorn to cereal, to canned vegetables.

These bags weigh approximately seven pounds each. While this may not seem like a lot, these seven-pound bags provide the children and their families with so much more than food.

"Primarily, it offers one less stressor for children to be consumed by or worry about," Drum said. "Having food readily available offers a sense of security and allows them to focus on being children." 

These bags also provide the parents with peace of mind. They know that their child will not go hungry thanks to the support the of The Corner Table's Backpack Program and all its volunteers.

According to Drum, every week nearly 1,400 children receive bags of food through the Backpack program. That is 1,400 children who will be able to come to school the next Monday focused and ready to learn.

Drum expects this number to increase to over 1,500 by the end of the year. While she may not be able to see all the children who benefit from the Backpack program each week Drum said, “it provides pleasure to me to know that we are feeding them and providing a resource to reduce hunger for children across Catawba county.”

For more information about the program or to learn how you can help or join the program visit THIS LINK or call 828-464-0355.