AT&T women help hungry Shelby County kids

The Birmingham Chapter of Women of AT&T present a $5,000 check to the Back Pack buddies program. (Contributed)

The Birmingham Chapter of Women of AT&T present a $5,000 check to the Back Pack buddies program. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

Fewer children in the Shelby County and Alabaster school systems will go hungry on weekends and holidays after the Birmingham Chapter of Women of AT&T recently donated $5,000 to the “Back Pack Buddies” program.

The Alabama Chapter also sponsored a reverse match campaign and raised an additional $1,800 to date. BackPack Buddies is a program of Vineyard Family Services off Valleydale Road in Hoover, and the Women of the AT&T partnered with NBC 13 news anchor Mike Royer to raise the $5,000.

“It’s no coincidence that one in five students in Alabama do not get enough to eat, while one in four will not graduate from high school. Our organization is passionate about supporting education in our community, and Back Pack Buddies was the perfect partner to help our members make a difference in the lives of at-risk students,” said Kate DeLoach, COO of Women of AT&T Alabama Chapter.

“BackPack Buddies is simple, but very effective. The students who receive this food will probably never hear about the Women of AT&T, but they will know that someone out there cares about them, and that means the world to our members,” DeLoach said.

There are more than 9,000 children on the free meal program within the Shelby County School and Alabaster City School Systems, and some of those kids need a little extra help during weekends and holidays to meet their nutritional needs. The Back Pack Buddies program helps meet this goal by providing children ages 5-14 with nutritious and easy-to-prepare food that they can take home when other resources aren’t always available.

“BackPack Buddies is a great program that really makes a tangible difference in the lives of children dealing with many issues revolving around poverty,” said Stephanie Grissom, program director at Vineyard Family Services. “It is so important that we take ownership in our own communities and that is what the Women of AT&T are doing. They are making this possible with their generous support of BackPack Buddies. We are inspired by their commitment and passion to take care of those who are most vulnerable.”

To participate in the Reverse Match Campaign, visit Vfsdads.com/backpack-buddies  and click on the link for the Women of AT&T.   For more information on how you can support BackPack Buddies, call Grissom at 317- 9897.