To get things started on our blog, we’re going to go back about five months and talk about our kick-off event.
On December 11, 2016, representatives of the Legacy Fund, members of the East Nashville community, and staff members from Warner School gathered together to pack backpacks of food for kids to eat over the Winter Break.
This backpack drive was a proud tradition at Tulip Street Church, and is about a decade old now. It started ten years ago with a modest goal of packing 30 backpacks and has grown into an event!
This year, 91% of the children attending Warner School live at or below the poverty level. Many of these kids rely on the free breakfast and lunch provided by the school as their reliable source of food.
That means that the two weeks of Winter Break can be scary for some of the kids—they may not know where their next meal will come from during those two weeks. The children at Warner School are in Kindergarten to Fourth Grade.
We try to make the Winter Break a little easier by packing backpacks full of food that children ages 5 to 9 can prepare for themselves, or that is already ready to eat. This includes single-serving Chef Boyardee, mac & cheese, granola bars, applesauce, and fruit cups.
We were thrilled to have the residents of Historic Edgefield join in to help us with the food drive this year! With their help, we packed 127 backpacks full of food for the Warner School kids!
As one member of the Fund’s Advisory Board put it in his post on Facebook:
2016 Backpacks, by the numbers.
– 127 backpacks plus a truckload of leftovers for the school food bank to hand out to families who need pantry items.
– 6591 individual food items in 127 backpacks.
– 3 large boxes of pantry items for the school’s food bank.
– 5 vehicles to transport it all to Warner Elementary.
– 38 people packing food over the course of the afternoon.
– 2 staff from Warner (principal and vice-principal)
– 300 students at Warner Elementary
– 2.5 hours to unload it into the gym, unbox everything, pack the backpacks, and deliver to Warner.
The principal and VP were both helping and were overwhelmed by the amount of stuff they just received.
This week, the school counselor will pick kids with the most abundant need, meet with them and give them a backpack so that they have food for the two week Christmas break where they won’t be eating at school.
I love this.
The Tulip Street Church-Frances Southerland Legacy Fund was established this year (2016) as a permanent endowment to support the children of Warner School. It is run through The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee (the link to the fund on the CFMT website is here).