Backpack Buddies of Long Beach
In 2011, after seeing a story about childhood hunger and other weekend feeding programs here on the Coast, the Backpack Buddies program in Long Beach, MS was formed. We are partnered with the Long Beach School District.
Through Backpack Buddies, we provide bags of individually wrapped food items to be taken home on Fridays by students who may be facing food insecurity issues. Each bad contains 7 meals. Students who are invited to participate in the Backpack Buddies program are recommended by teachers, counselors, and principals.
We have three churches who actively support this program with financial donations and time. They are: First United Methodist Church of Long Beach, First Baptist Church of Long Beach, and St. Thomas Catholic Church. We also have community groups and businesses who donate time and money to the program.
We pack bags at our church every two to three weeks that are then delivered on Thursdays and Fridays to the schools. We currently serve 120 students in all five of the Long Beach schools with each student receiving approximately 252 meals per school year .