Blessings in a Backpack will officially 'kick-off' its partnership with Seabreeze Elementary School on Thursday by providing weekend nourishment to 180 school children on the federal Free and Reduced Price Meal program as part of its program on the First Coast. Blessings in a Backpack also feeds 250 students at Mayport Elementary School in Atlantic Beach. The kick-off will begin at 9:00 a.m. at Seabreeze Elementary with a school assembly and backpack stuffing event. The kick-off will include students, Jacksonville Jaguars punter Adam Podlesh, Board member Tabitha Furyk, wife of PGA TOUR golfer Jim Furyk and member of the PGA TOUR Wives Association, Founder of Blessings in a Backpack Stan Curtis and seniors from the Bennie Furlong Senior Center who volunteer to pack the backpacks each week.
Seabreeze Elementary -1400 Seabreeze Ave., Jacksonville Beach
Event Schedule (Approximate)
9:15 am Children in auditorium and school assembly starts
9:15 – 9:35am Remarks from guests and dignitaries
9:40 – 9:55am Student song
10:00-11:00am Interviews and backpack stuffing
11:15am Event ends
Every Friday, students receive their backpacks with staples that require little to no preparation. They return with their backpacks on Monday ready to learn. It costs $80 to feed a child in the program for an entire 38-week school year. Typical backpacks include ready-to-eat food items such as fruit roll ups, juice boxes, instant noodles, peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, cereal, pop tarts, etc. Blessings in a Backpack does its best to make sure the food is kid-friendly, meaning it's lightweight, healthy, non-perishable and easy-to-prepare.
Students who participate in the Blessings in a Backpack program show marked improvement in test scores, improved reading skills, positive behavior, health and increased attendance.
"We are so thankful to have the Blessings in a Backpack program at Seabreeze Elementary School," said Principal Lashawn Streater. "Students who are well nourished are able to focus more on learning while at school. This program is a blessing to our students in need." Publix and Claude Nolan Cadillac are local supporters of Blessings in a Backpack.
Blessings in a Backpack began in two schools near the Louisville, KY area in 2005.
It is a 501 C (3) non-profit organization currently feeding over 41,000 children in 35 states in the U.S. and two countries - Canada and Columbia. The program is a hybrid of private sector funding and public partnership carried out in public schools. For more information on Blessings in a Backpack, visit www.blessingsinabackpack.org
Charlene Shirk, Blessings in a Backpack PR, 904.860.2991, firstname.lastname@example.org
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