"Can you even imagine having free or reduced price lunch at school on Friday...then going home and having no dinner that night, no breakfast, lunch or dinner on Saturday OR Sunday, and then returning to school on Monday morning...expected to be ready to learn? THAT is when you might begin to understand hunger."
- Alice Prevatt, Founder, Upstate Backpack Blessings
Alice Prevatt witnessed this heartbreaking situation many times when she worked in a local middle school cafeteria. Inspired to make a real difference, she created Upstate Backpack Blessings (UBB) and began collecting donated food, organizing and packing it in her kitchen. She originally served three schools, but word spread and the program quickly grew.
Upstate Backpack Blessings is a volunteer-based, donation-driven organization that now provides bags of food to nearly 200 students each week in the following elementary, middle and high schools:
Elementary: Fork Shoals, Fountain Inn, Oakview, Plains and Taylors Middle: Bryson, Hughes, Hillcrest, Northwood, Riverside and Woodside High: Eastside and Hillcrest
Alice says that once a child starts with the program in elementary school, if things don't change rather drastically at home, that weekly bag of food will more than likely accompany that student all the way through high school.
Over 34,000 students in Greenville County Public Schools rely on free or reduced breakfasts and lunches while in school Monday through Friday. Students served by Upstate Backpack Blessings count on their weekend bags that they pick up on Friday afternoons as the leave school for the weekend, a critical time when they do not have access to school meals and often go without or have very little food.
Can you even imagine hunger? You can make a very real and immediate difference in the lives of children by organizing a UBB Food Drive, volunteering in our Food Pantry or by donating funds toward the purchase of food.