SU students team up with local outreach program to give away backpacks full of food

Spring break is finally here, and while that may be exciting news for most students, it can spell trouble for those who depend on a school for their meals.

That's why Salisbury University is partnering with a local outreach program to make sure no kids go hungry on what should be some of the most carefree days on the school calendar.

One in every five children on the Eastern Shore comes from a food insecure family.

Curt Twilley, the Principal of Beaver Run Elementary School said, "We find on a daily basis kids that don't have enough to eat, especially over the weekends."

That's where Salisbury University's new Big 3B program comes in. The 3 B's stand for: Breakfast, books, and backpacks.

The University, along with Emmanuel Wesleyan's Adopt-A-Block outreach program, chose to kick off this project at East Salisbury and Beaver Run elementary schools after the Beaver Run principal came across a concerning discovery.

Twilley said, "A couple of weeks ago I was reading a bulletin board at school, and one of the kids, what he loves, he said he would love to have more food."

Beaver Run was able to identify that student and provide his family with a couple weeks worth of meals, and it was there that this unique idea was born.

Reverend Mark Thompson, the Director of Adopt-A-Block said, "So we came up with this idea. Lets put a food pantry together backpacks where we can actually give it to the students that really need it that are identified by the schools and they can take home the food."

The backpacks included breakfast food, snacks, and a good book to get students through spring break.

Thompson said, "We have five hundred pounds of food a piece for school. Fifty backpacks were donated by the Salisbury University students."

Kids were hopping up and down with excitement, clearly grateful for this life saving donation.

Dr. Cathrene Connery, an Assistant Professor at SU said, "You know, I think they were really positive, they were excited."

Organizers say they look forward to continuing with this unique project in the future.

Thompson said, "Again, this is one of our trial runs and I think it worked out great! The students enjoyed it, the faculty, the staff, the principal's really like this but most importantly, we provided a need in our school system."

If you're interested in helping out those in need, members of Emmanuel Wesleyan's Adopt-a-Block outreach program want to remind you that they are always looking for more people to get involved with their program.

Their mission is simple. If you find a need, fill it, if you find a hurt, heal it.

On the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, members of the Adopt-a-Block outreach program team up with the Maryland Food Bank to deliver over 3,000 pounds of food to local families in need.

They say you don't have to be a member of their program to help out, you can simply just send them a message asking where to meet.

Thompson said, "Anything, anyone can join us and work. You don't have to be part of Emmanuel Wesleyan church, all you have to do is look me up on Facebook at EWCAdoptaBlock and instant message me."

The program members meet every Saturday morning at Emmanuel Wesleyan Church in the parking lot at 8:30 am.

Categories: Local News, Maryland