Bac Pac Ministries program wants to help more children

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Rotary Club of Picayune heard about the progress being made by the Bac Pac Ministry Program during its weekly meeting at Southern Char Steak House Tuesday afternoon.

Cecelia Richards and Tricia Goff of the Bac Pac Ministry Program provided the presentation.

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The Bac Pac Ministry Program focuses on providing food and other basic items to children who are less fortunate across the community, Richards said.

“This program started around seven years ago at Nicholson Elementary,” Richard said. “Teachers identify and refer students who need help and we’ll do anything possible to provide them with food items.”

When the program started, there were only 22 participants and now we are helping a total of 202 students across four elementary schools, Goff said.

“Nicholson Elementary, Southside Lower (Elementary,) Roseland Park (Elementary) and Pearl River Lower Elementary are the four schools we are currently involved in,” Goff said. “Our goal is to help out more students but due to low funding, we are unable to do so.”

Recently, the Parent Teacher Organization at Nicholson Elementary donated $300 to Bac Pac Ministries, which Richards said will go a long way.

“We purchase food items throughout the week and we pack enough food to provide multiple means for children throughout the weekend,” Richards said. “We deliver the backpacks to the schools on Thursdays and on Fridays the teachers provide the backpacks to children in need.”

The Bac Pac Ministry is currently looking for sponsors. The cost of filling one backpack is $3.50 and people can sponsor a student for one month with a donation of $14 or can sponsor a child for an entire school year with a donation of $115.50.

Those unable to make a monetary donation but are willing to help can donate items such as bottled water, fruit snacks, ramen noodles, granola bars, juice packs and other food items to First United Methodist Church in Picayune.

For more information on Bac Pac ministries, contact First United Methodist Church at (601) 798-4321 or Goff at (228) 327-4171.

“My heart goes out to children in the local community because many of them come to school hungry on Mondays because they didn’t have anything to eat at home over the weekend,” Goff said. “This is a big concern within our community and we want to help and make a difference for all the children in need around the community. With the holiday season upon us, we want to give children additional items to take home, especially during the Christmas break, but we need everyone’s support to make it happen.”