School Year 2019-2020
Our new Corporate Partner Crawford Contractor Connection had a dummer long food drive for Micah's. An amazing amount of food was collected. It helps the kids and it helps our budget! Thank you/
School Year 2019-20
August 1, 2020 COVID PANDEMIC RECAP:
Finally!! It is time to catch up on what has been happening with Micah's over the past 5 months. As with everyone else, Covid-19 knocked Micah's into a bit of a tail-spin, but we got things under control immediately and continued to provide weekend food to hungry children in our community. Here's how:
When the schools closed after Spring Break in March, Micah's volunteers began working in small groups so we could maintain our social distancing. The first order of business was to be sure we could still purchase the food we needed. this turned out to be a little difficult because 1) there was some panic buying that depleted the shelves and 2) food distribution to the stores was disrupted. On top of that, the volunteers who regularly did the food shopping were in the older 'protected age group and couldn't safely go to the stores to shop.
The solution?? Small groups of young volunteers stepped up and did the shopping for us. they were able to buy a few items each of the different food selections and together we were able to fill the shelves. Sometimes the combinations of food in the bags were a little 'weird', but the kids continued to get extra food every week. Those small shopping groups continued their efforts until the end of the school year. Could not have made it without them!
The next hurdle: PACKING the bags. We knew we had to keep the packing groups small and protect the volunteers in the
'protected' group. So, East Arlington Rotary Club offered to help. And help they did! Arrived, donned gloves (masks weren't a 'thing' yet) and packed. Then they loaded up the bags and delivered them to the schools the next day. Most of the bags were picked up by the kids and their parents when they picked up their school lunches at the school. some of Micah's Backpack bags hitched a ride on the school buses that took the school lunches to the kids at the bus stops.
gradually the packing groups got smaller and smaller as the pandemic grew and grew. But, East Arlington Rotary showed up every week to deliver the bags to the schools. As a result of all the small group efforts, MICAH'S BACKPACK volunteers made sure that children in need had extra food every week. Micah's Backpack volunteers shopped for, packed and delivered 1070 bags of food between mid March and the beginning of June.
And now, we are getting ready for the new school year! Micah's backpack makes a difference! We are still striving to
Help Feed 200 Kids in 2020
We have finally started "going green"!! A very generous guest at the Empty bowls lunch donated 150 duffel bags to be used in lieu of plastic bags for packing the food each week. They are so much easier to pack and count and easier for the school counselor to place in the kids backpacks. Each child has a bag assigned to them for the year. The bag has the child's first name and teacher's name and school logo on it. They return the bag on Monday and it is refilled for the next weekend. Our littlest volunteer is in kindergarten and she packs 8-10 bags every week to help 'hungry kids'.
March 8, 2020
Our very first Empty Bowl lunch in February was a great success! An army of volunteers made it happen and enough was raised to support 33 children for a school year. We will support 200 by 2020!
January 4, 2020. Happy New Year!
Micah's volunteers are ready to begin the second semester of helping hungry children in our community. Our big event is the EMPTY BOWLS luncheon on February 8. It will be held at Highlands United Presbyterian Church Stop in anytime between 11 am and 2 pm 11 am to 2 pm. A $20 ticket will feed a child for a month and you will be able to pick out a handmade pottery or ceramic bowl to fill with soup. Add bread, dessert and a beverage and enjoy a delicious lunch knowing you made a difference in the life of a hungry child. The bowl is yours to take home with you, along with the knowledge that you made a difference in the life of a child. All proceeds go to feeding hungry children. go to and reserve your ticket.
December 5, 2019 We had help from the US Coast Guard this evening! 20 energetic and fun members of the Coast Guard and their families showed up to pack bags for 143 children! We thank them for their help and for their service!
Our director Bonnie Vanderberg was recognized by First Coast News as one of 2019's 12 Who Care for her work through Micah's Backpack, Jacksonville. Check out the full article here.
November 13, 2019
The Home Depot Replenishment Center's Food Drive in October was a tremendous success. The month long drive resulted in enough food to provide breakfast, lunch and dinner for all 140 Micah's kids for an entire month! WOW! And a HUGE Thank YOU to everyone at the Replenishment Center!
Food Drives were also done by St. Mark's Episcopal Church MOPS, by the Intracoastal Moms Club and by the American Society of Military Comptrollers. All these drives Provided enough food to fill our pantry, but the pantry empties quickly. Thankfully, the National Society for Leadership and Success at JU, and the JU Rotaract Club are
working together on a Food Drive at the Town Center Publix on November 22 and 23.
Princess Jessica and Mason, her Knight in Shining Armor helped pack Micah's bags on Halloween, with the help of Charlie aka "The Great Pumpkin" and his big bag of candies.
October 11, 2019
A lot is happening with Micah's Backpack and the community. At the beginning of the month the Home Depot Jacksonville Replenishment Center on Bulls Bay Highway started a warehouse wide, month long food drive on all 3 shifts. I've received word that the drive is "going very well" I know their contribution to our pantry will help so many hungry children! Thank you Aaron Johnson, supervisor, for setting this up!
In September Watson Realty,Intracoastal Corp hosted a community Yard Sale to benefit Micah's Backpack. The Highlands United Presbyterian Church's Crafty Ladies participated with other member of the community and raised enough funds to support 4 children for the school year! Many thanks to all of you for your desire to help children in our community.
In September we presented Micah's Backpack to two "Mom's" groups. Early in the month, we presented to a large group of young Moms at St. Marks's MOPs and received a The Intracoastal Mom's Club was a high-energy meeting with lots of adorable toddlers and their Moms. We received a generous check and several large bags of food for the kids backpacks.
Micah's Backpack continues to provide for more and more children every week. This week we will provide backpacks for at least 131 children. Every week, the school counselors identify more and more children who experience hunger and suffer from food insecurity. One of the school counselors has signed permission slips for
150 of the students at her school. The total enrollment for the school is 187. At this time, Micah's Backpack only has funding for 50 children at that school. We will add more there, and at the other schools as more money is donated.
August 21, 2019
Last Thursday's packing was a big success! We packed weekend food for 100 kids who have little to eat between Friday's school lunch and breakfast at school on Monday morning. So much energy and enthusiasm for "Micah's Kids" Familiar faces and brand new volunteers were there to help including representatives from our new Corporate Partner Crawford Contractor Connection! Many thanks to them for the great food drive they had over the summer.
August 14, 2019
The new school year has started and we will have our first packing tomorrow, Thursday August 15 at 5:30 PM. The main packing site is Highlands United Presbyterian Church. Come and join us!
As you know, we ended last school year with 153 children in 5 schools. Typically, we don't pack for as many children the first few weeks of school. That is because the counselors and teachers have to identify the children in need and the families have to return permission letters. The fifth graders we helped last year graduated to middle school and the teachers and school counselors don't know the kindergarten students yet. Even though in the first few weeks the number of bags will be much smaller the number will grow. I know it will grow because of the need and because I had mothers and grandmothers call me last year to make sure their children would receive a bag of weekend food this year.
We know the need is so great and our goal this year is to
Support 200 kids by 2020.
We need your help.
Go to our DONATE page
Let's do this!!
200 kids by 2020
Food Drive for Micah's Backpack
Jacksonville Fulfillment Centeer
Last packing for school year, ready for pick up
Final packing for 2018-19 school year.
153 children. Our goal for next year...Support 200 children by 2020