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Backpack program addressed the needs of older students in the district

backpack food for high school

Wayne County Family Resource Youth Service Centers gladly work hard at making the backpack program successful. FRYSC staff collaborate with the Hope Center and the local Wayne County Health Coalition to make this assistance available for our families. Donations for this program come from all directions in Wayne County -  churches, private donors, and organizations.

Wayne County Elementary Schools have been very proactive with this program over the years. More recently, the Wayne County Middle School and High School Youth Service Centers have expanded and both been staffed with coordinators. So, they are enhancing their backpack programs.

“We try to keep discrete about the number of families we serve within this program to protect the privacy of our students. These bags help feed them through the weekend,” noted WCHS Youth Service Center Coordinator Audra Branscum.  

Each student receives a bag on Fridays or as needed.  Inside the bag, you will typically find: a box of spaghetti noodles, 8oz. can of soup, 7.5oz can of beans or corn, individual cereal bowl, breakfast bar, single serving of low-fat milk, dried cranberries, a pudding cup, and single serving of Easy Mac.

Recently, Branscum and WCMS Youth Service Center Coordinator Samantha Sexton asked the Health Coalition for additional funding for food to support their backpacker bags. The food they added made them more suitable for older students.

So, now older students enrolled in the backpack program, get another bag of items such as Ramen Noodles, Hunts pasta sauce, Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup, Jiffy Cornbread, Single Serving Hormel completes meal, canned tuna, full box of graham crackers, a jar of peanut butter, single serving of oatmeal, instant mashed potatoes, and a loaf of bread, and canned vegetables.

“I believe the valuable key to making this program work lies in the communication between the Youth Service Coordinator and the student or family,” said Branscum.

Backpack food 

Food going into a backpack at the high school 

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