The NIA Staff recently spent time volunteering in the Sterling, Virginia, community to make weekend meal packs for local children. The meal packs are kid friendly and designed for students who qualify for free- and reduced-price lunch and who have been identified by school personnel as not having enough to eat when school is not in session. During our session in the Backpack Buddies pantry, NIA staff members learned about the program, assembled 400 weekend meal packs in assembly-line fashion, and restocked the pantry for the next packing session.
NIA EVP/CEO Michele M. Jones noted, “Our members give so much to our industry and their communities, so as a staff, we were humbled to give back to our local community. This program opened our eyes to the needs in our area and what is being done to help school kids right around the corner.”
Over the last 5 years, this chapter of the Backpack Buddies program has grown to reach more than 400 kids at 5 elementary, middle, and high schools. The Program Director said, “We are so humbled to be part of a community that cares for our neighbors in need and we thank you for your help with our mission to help under-resourced children.”