Boyd County Middle School is located in the isolated and rural town of Cannonsburg, Kentucky.
When children don’t eat enough, it can shorten their attention span, lower their IQ and keep them from performing well in school.
Like many of Kentucky’s Eastern Coal Field communities, Cannonsburg has suffered significantly from the decline of the coal mining industry. At the height of the coal operations, Boyd County was an essential and active port city for the transport of coal along the Ohio River.
Today, many of its residents live in dismal poverty. Illiteracy and high dropout rates are significant problems in the area.
Thankfully, students at Boyd County Middle School have caring teachers and staff that work hard to motivate and educate them so that they can graduate and become successful members of their community.
A newly renovated school
Not only do students at the school have a supportive group of administrators to help them, but according to our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, they also have newly renovated school buildings to enjoy.
On a recent visit to Boyd County Middle School, Renée marveled at the new entrance façade, energy-efficient windows, improved access to the gym and a new bus loading/unloading area designed to help with traffic congestion during peak times — all updates from the last time she visited the school a few years ago.
A lack of adequate food at home
While at the school, Renée also got a chance to meet with our volunteer coordinator, Vicki. Vicki told Renée that Boyd County Middle School serves 729 students in sixth through eighth grades. Fifty-seven percent of those children come from low-income families. These children often come to school without proper clothes, shoes and school supplies. Many of them don’t have adequate food at home either.
“Vicki expressed to me that her biggest need is for more help with her Weekend Backpack Food Program, which is currently assisting over 100 children,” said Renée.
Why is backpack feeding necessary?
Sending children home on Friday afternoons with non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food ensures that they get enough food on weekends and holidays when they can’t rely on getting a nutritious meal at school.
Unfortunately, lack of food in the home for families living in poverty is an issue that many children in the United States face. According to Feeding America’s website, “Twenty-two million children receive free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program and the National School Breakfast Program. For many of these children, school meals may be the only meals they eat.”
Roughly 13 million kids in America today don’t have enough food to eat on the weekends. One in five kids in our country goes without access to affordable, nutritious food on Saturdays and Sundays. Lack of adequate food leads to health problems in addition to hunger. When children don’t eat enough, it can shorten their attention span, lower their IQ and keep them from performing well in school.
Because of these harsh realities, backpack feeding programs like Vicki’s at Boyd County Middle School are crucial for children. Sending children home on Friday afternoons with non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food ensures that they get enough food on weekends and holidays when they can’t rely on getting a nutritious meal at school.
HOW DO I SUPPORT BACKPACK FEEDING PROGRAMS IN THE U.S.?
Our U.S. Feeding Program provides support for Backpack Feeding Programs at our affiliated projects. To donate, call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members, email us at email@example.com or visit https://childrenincorporated.org/u-s-feeding-programs/ to make an online donation.