Vinemont Baptist Church children and youth at the congregation’s “Christmas in August” breakfast. (Photo courtesy Ann Irani, Vinemont Baptist Church)
VINEMONT – Students at Vinemont Elementary School who face food insecurity in their homes have friends at Vinemont Baptist Church and Cullman’s Northbrook Baptist Church. The two congregations have partnered together with the countywide Knapsacks for Kids program (See www.cullmantribune.com/articles/2018/08/07/knapsacks-kids-programs-gearing-new-school-year) to provide weekend food for children of families in need.
According to Vinemont BC program coordinator and former Vinemont Principal Dr. Jane Teeter, they expect to serve 12 to 16 students each week. Backpacks filled with enough items like juice boxes, crackers, breakfast bars and mac and cheese are given out at school on Friday afternoons so that the child will have two days of meals over the weekend.
Students at Vinemont Middle School can also participate in the program, but, across the county, teens tend to avoid signing up for fear of embarrassment. Leaders wanted to be sure, though, that middle school students and families are aware that the assistance is available. Goods are placed in a gallon bag which is then placed in the knapsack, and the knapsacks are distributed in confidentiality; one middle school student who did participate in the program placed the inside bag in his own backpack instead of carrying the knapsack out.
Vinemont BC held a "Christmas in August" celebration to raise money and collect food items for the backpacks. Northbrook BC works with Vinemont BC to provide supplies, and youth at Vinemont BC pack the bags and knapsacks to be delivered to the school on Thursdays.
One kindergarten student, when he received his first backpack two years ago, wanted to know why he was getting one. Said Teeter, “The school secretary told him that people loved him and wanted him to have the food.”
The churches welcome monetary gifts and donations of juice boxes, crackers, breakfast bars, single serving mac and cheese, spaghetti, Vienna sausages, etc. (any food item in individual packages and cans that can be opened by a child). Replacement backpacks and one-gallon plastic bags are also needed throughout the year. Those who need assistance or want to help with the program can contact Principal Kim Brown at Vinemont Elementary, 256-734-0314.
Copyright 2018 Humble Roots, LLC. All Rights Reserved.