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Backpack Buddies participants at Gladeville Elementary get grocery bags stuffed with care, to ensure the family receives plenty of Christmas fare.
The 23 items packed often overflowed, and the students had to carry home quite a load.
The Mount Olivet United Methodist Church women’s group spearheads it, so during the holidays the families don’t have to fret.
During the school year, the group sends regular goodies home with kids as a mission, but during the holiday’s they add to the nutrition.
Sandy Harvey and friends have supplies to nab, so there’s plenty of pintos, chicken, noodles and canned hams to grab.
There’s food for breakfast, supper and lunch, possibly as many as eight meals for families to munch.
They write grants and cook a Christmas meal for school staff as fundraising plans.
Harvey said: “We have to keep coming up with ideas and money as best we can.”
An unnamed person who grew up in the church funded the holiday bags so families don’t end up in a lurch.
The Gladeville Ruritan Club added $700 for the program in a donation; a $2,500 grant came from United Methodist Appalachian Ministry Network with little hesitation.
Harvey, in the grocery line with boxes of pancake mix piled high, got a donation on the spot after they caught another shopper’s eye.
Gladeville staff asked Mount Olivet to help provide nutrition. They try to get healthy products to go in the kitchen.
“We never had to do as much as we have now,” Principal Mary Jane Carrico said. More donations would help the Backpack Buddies program forge ahead.
If anyone is interested in writing a check and chipping in, they can send it to Mount Olivet in care of the Rev. John Grimm. The address is 6926 Carrollton Pike, Galax, VA 24333.