To the Editor,
Communities In Schools of Robeson County partnered with Southeastern Regional Medical Center in August on BakPak Pals, packs of kid friendly, nutritious food for students who were likely to go with little or no food over the weekend. We began our project with 75 students in three local elementary schools and have increased that number to 87.
Hospice House serves as the location for preparing the packs of food. SRMC is able to order food in quantities and deliver to that location. Funding for this project has been made possible by the proceeds of the “Boots and Barbeque” event hosted by the SRMC Foundation Advocates, the Mayor’s Committee for the Challenged, Kiwanis of Robeson/Lumberton, Knights of Columbus, Trinity Episcopal Churchwomen, and individuals who have given donations.
Additional food items have been provided by Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at Robeson Community College, Robeson County Church and Community Center, Robeson County 4-H Clubs, UNC-Pembroke faculty and staff, Walmart, Lumbee River EMC and Campbell Soup. Other individuals and communities of faith have also brought in food.
West Lumberton Kiwanis has helped with the assembly of shelving, Monarch clients come on a weekly basis as volunteers to prepare packs of food, and International Paper Company provides the boxes that the backpacks are loaded in to go to schools for distribution to students at the end of the week.
The CIS Board of Directors would like to thank all of these who serve as “Pals” for this project. My special thank you goes out to the project director, Joyce Patterson, who has such a heart for children and is the backbone of the weekly work with volunteers and Hospice staff. Finally, a thank you to the school counselors who have identified these students and greet them each Friday afternoon with a pack of food that is loaded into their backpacks for the weekend. Robeson County has truly stepped up in a generous way to make a difference in the lives of students.
CIS of Robeson