Welcome to our blog series—At the Table: Baptist Fight Hunger!
Part 18 is by Karen Shore of Food for Days, a backpack meals ministry launched by John Saunders and a support team from First Baptist Church of Mooresville, N.C., that is striving to end childhood hunger.
By Karen Shore
As the school year begins in Iredell County, N.C., Food for Days will serve weekend meals to more than 300 students across 16 schools as a local backpack ministry.
First Baptist Church of Mooresville initiated the program with 10 children in one elementary school in the fall of 2010.
Today, there are 13 churches that provide the foundation upon which Food for Days is poised for continuous growth with the number of students who are fed each week by the church volunteers. The inter-denominational unity that has developed through this program creates a unique aspect for the Iredell community.
While the size of the backpack ministry continues to grow, the mission remains the same: to provide six weekend meals to children who participate in the Title 1 program in the Mooresville Graded School District and the Iredell-Statesville School District.
Every school within the Mooresville Graded system is currently being served. Expansion will take place as schools in the Iredell-Statesville system are added over and above the current eight schools that participate.
To support the expansion into the northern part of the county, the program has added a second distribution center for food storage and packing in Statesville. The facility is being provided by the Iredell-Statesville school administration.
First Baptist Church of Mooresville continues to serve as the storage and distribution site for the schools in the southern part of the county.
Growth of the program facilitated the need to establish a separate 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2012. Click here to learn more about Food for Days.
See additional information below about the state of hunger in Iredell County, N.C., courtesy of Map the Meal Gap, a project of Feeding America. Check out statistics for your area with this interactive online tool.