Special to Iredell Free News
The Rotary Club of Statesville has donated proceeds from the Rotary Farmers Market, totaling $1,600, to the Backpack Ministries program at Broad Street United Methodist Church. This ministry provides weekend meals for local students who have little or nothing to eat other than meals provided by their school lunch programs.
“The need was so great this year we started distributing backpacks the first week of school,” said Mary McClain, director of Backpack Ministries at Broad Street United Methodist Church.
The ministry program distributes 60 backpacks to students at East Elementary School and 12 backpacks to students at Third Creek Elementary School every week. Each backpack includes enough food for two breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks for the weekend.
According to Food NC, 21.4 percent of children in Iredell County are food insecure, and 6,233 children receive Food and Nutrition Services benefits.
“Many children in Iredell County lack access to adequate healthy and nutritious foods,” said Dr. Peggy Willhide, a retired physician and chair of the Rotary Farmers Market Committee. “It was a natural fit to use the proceeds from the Farmers Market to support Backpack Ministries, a program that puts food in the hands of children who need it the most.”
Rotary brings together a global network of volunteers dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and regions. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. For more information about the Rotary Club of Statesville, visit rotarystatesville.org/.