RED SPRINGS — Because of the Red Springs Rotary Club, some needy children will have something to eat this Saturday and Sunday.
The club recently presented a check for $5,000 to officials with Back Pack Buddies, a program that provides food students likely to have inadequate food over a weekend.
Wilson Ray, a member of the club, said the civic organization is glad to help, but he also said that he was sorry that there is such a need in the first place.
“Backpack Buddies is an excellent program,” Ray said. “It just sickens me to realize that a child may go hungry for that period without that kind of assistance. It brings home the fact that children often pay the price for poverty.”
There are about 33 students in Red Springs benefiting from the program, but this latest donation means more can be helped, Ray said.
“Until now, they have tried to identify some of the neediest cases,” he said. “But there are others that need help and now we are expand it and help feed even more kids.”
Community in Schools oversees the program that provides food for elementary and middle school students who are eligible for free and reduced lunches at school.
Eligible students receive backpacks filled with enough food for six healthy meals and two snacks. The children take the backpacks on Friday afternoons and return them on Mondays.
Dencie Lambdin, director of the county CIS, said the club’s donation will help the program serve an additional 50 to 60 students. CIS initiated the program in 2010. It began serving Red Springs students a year later.
“We’re thrilled that we will be able to serve more students and families,” Lambdin said. “We’re also very excited to be able to partner with the Red Springs Rotary, whose members will also serve as program volunteers.”
The Red Springs Rotary Club joined forces with the Rotary Club in Lumberton to raise a total of $15,000 for the program. The Lumberton club presented CIS $10,000 to be used in the Lumberton area. The program serves five schools there.
“This was a great project for both clubs and Rotary in general,” Ray said. “When you can help kids, that is always a good thing.”