Local nonprofit seeking food donations for kids in need

Published 3:11 pm Monday, January 14, 2019

PELHAM – A local nonprofit organization, Vineyard Family Services, is seeking help from the public to provide food for less fortunate children in Shelby County.

In January and February, VFS is collecting chicken noodle soup, chicken and dumplings and chicken and stars soup cans for its BackPack Buddies program. VFS is requesting that citizens donate cans with pop-top lids.

“Everyone needs a little warmth in these colder months and just about every child loves chicken noodle soup,” said program director Stephanie Grissom.

BackPack Buddies serves students in Alabaster and Pelham city schools and Shelby County Schools. VFS and program sponsors are feeding 825 students every week. The program provides high quality, weekly food bags to support public school children who are considered at-risk for food insecurity. They also provide hygiene bags, emergency response food and holiday break bags.

To drop off food, contact Grissom at Stephiegrissom0@gmail.com or leave the food in the organization’s outside dropbox. Residents can even order food online and have it shipped directly to VFS, which is located at 2834-H Pelham Parkway.

According to VFS, in Shelby County there are over 10,000 public school children qualified to receive free meals at school. During long holiday breaks and weekends, BackPack Buddies helps meet the need by providing public school students with nutritious and easy-to-prepare food that they can take home when other resources aren’t always available.

The program is available for public school children ages 5-14 who receive free or reduced meals, those homeless or in transitional housing, in crisis or trauma situations and those in single parent homes.

Executive Director Ward Williams founded Vineyard Family Services in 2007. The agency focuses on feeding children in need, promoting responsible fatherhood and helping families in crisis. For more information on ways to get involved, go to Vfsdads.com.