BackPack Buddies hosting food giveaway

Published 11:53 am Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Just as the weather begins to improve, one local organization is hoping to continue its efforts of meeting the needs of the county’s hungry.

BackPack Buddies will host a community food giveaway, rain or shine, at 11 a.m. on Saturday at the parking lot of Ohio University Southern in Ironton.

The organization, based out of Campbell Chapel Freewill Baptist Church, gave food to more than 600 people at its last event in October and organizer Jodie Hunt said she expects several thousands pounds of food to be on hand.

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“As of right now we have one trailer full of dry food,” Hunt said. “We will go two times to the (Facing Hunger) food bank this week. We’ll be able to get more dry foods, produce, breads, meats.”

There are no income requirements for the food giveaway but people must show a photo ID and provide proof of Lawrence County residency.

Hunt said she expects a good turnout since the weather is improving.

“It’s starting to get a little bit warm out,” she said. “It’s the middle to the end of the month. We get a lot of phones calls for our emergency pantry near the end of the month.”

Kohl’s in Ashland is also sending volunteers to assist with the giveaway as part of their Associates in Action program.

Hunt said the emergency pantry was opened in the fall of 2012, around the same time the BackPack Buddies program began. That program helps more than 250 school children each week by providing weekend meals.

“It has been, I think, a tremendous blessing to a lot of families here in Lawrence County who are going through a hard time,” Hunt said.

Donations are what keep the pantry and the backpack program going, Hunt said.

“It amazes me the amount of food we send out of here every single week,” she said. “It’s been a blessing and so many people have helped us by dropping donations off at the church.”

Donations of food are accepted, as well as monetary donations, which can be given through the crowd-funding site Go Fund Me by searching for BackPack Buddies, or donations can be sent to P.O. Box 522, Ironton, OH 45638.