Currituck County, NC – In recognition of growing risk for childhood hunger in Currituck County, the Currituck Extension and 4-H program initiated a nationally known program called 4-H Backpacks for Kids. The Currituck 4-H Backpacks for Kids program discreetly provides nutritious, easy-to-prepare food to chronically hungry children in school backpacks to take home over the weekends. Currituck Cooperative Extension and 4-H welcomed its lead corporate sponsor for this program, VBL and its Paveya division located in Powell’s Point. VBL has committed to providing monetary and technical support to provide awareness about 4-H Backpacks for Kids.
According to an analysis by Feeding America, North Carolina ranks as the second-worst state in the nation when it comes to children under 5 lacking regular access to nutritious food and as 10th worst for children of all ages. “We see the need here in our county,” states Ellen Owens, 4-H Coordinator for Currituck County. “Since the beginning of the school year, the number of elementary school children at risk for hunger has grown almost 83%, so we welcome our partnership with VBL and Paveya.”
Weekends are a critical time for low-income children because they have access to fewer food resources, such as the free school lunches they receive during the week. In this program, each child receives enough food for six full meals that they can easily manage to prepare.
The Currituck Extension Foundation, 4-H, local corporate sponsors like VBL and Paveya, and volunteers ensure that there is no overhead cost for this critical program. All donations to this program go entirely to the children and the purchase of food for over 120 elementary school children in Currituck County.
“When we understood the level of need in this county we wanted to help,” offered Claiborne Yarbrough, Business Development Director of Paveya. “When the Currituck Extension team explained that Backpacks programs have shown to increase attendance, improve concentration and student achievement in school, we were eager to help spread the message about this important program.”
Just in time for the holidays, 4-H Backpack for Kids is pleased to announce the launch of its new website http://www.backpacksforkidscurrituck.org.
This website accepts online donations so that local children who are at risk for hunger will have food to eat throughout the year.