Backpack Buddies and Junior League of Birmingham fight food insecurity for Shelby County students

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SHELBY COUNTY, Alabama (WIAT) — Two organizations are working together to make meal kits for children in the Shelby County school System.

Backpack Buddies and Junior League of Birmingham are teaming up to make sure students head home from school with the food they need for the weekends. When students head home on Fridays, meals are discretely given to those who need them.

The program is meant for students ages 5 to 14 in Shelby County. Some are free of reduced meal recipients, while others may be homeless or in transitional housing — but it aims to support any child who needs it.

Tracy Cooper, a Junior League member and Backpack Buddies Placement co-chair, said the meals help provide fuel for education.

“Just to provide a healthier lifestyle,” Cooper said. “A better environment for the children to come to school and be able to learn and grow and are healthy. 

The meal kit packing sessions take place at Vineyard Family Services in Pelham. Cooper said the best way to support the Backpack Buddies program is to donate time or money to Vineyard Family Services. There are monthly community packing sessions, where everyone is welcome to come out to help.

Junior League provides about 3,200 meals food bags throughout the school year.


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