School Year 2020-2021
School Year 2020-2021
June 4, 2021
Dear Volunteers and Supporters of Micah's Backpack
We have come to the end of Micah's 5th year of helping children in our community, and it is with gratitude and amazement that I write this year-end "wrap up".
Five years ago, in August 2015, I wrote a 'business plan' for this outreach mission with a goal that by the end of school year 2020-2021 Micah's would be helping 250 children in 5 schools. We met that goal!
This year, we began in August helping 132 students in 5 schools. In spite of the COVID precautions of distancing and wearing masks, and a little trouble initially getting the food we needed for our weekly 'menu', the mission grew! Although 10 of the 251 children we were helping in April moved to other schools, Micah's volunteers packed 241 'bags of love and food' and delivered them to students in 8 area schools until the end of May. The packing is now done in 3 area churches: (Highlands Presbyterian is the base church with additional packing sites at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church and our recent addition, St. Paul United Methodist Church) The bags are delivered to students in Lone Star, Brookview, Lake Lucina, Arlington, Arlington Heights, Fort Caroline, Love Grove and Parkwood Heights Elementary Schools. Once the bags are delivered to the schools, volunteers have the support of the schools' faculty and staff: principals, school counselors, custodians, bookkeepers, teachers, front office workers, school security personnel and volunteers all help unload and deliver the bags to the students. It takes a village...!
Our goal for next year is to help a minimum of 40 additional students. This will bring the number of bags packed in the three churches to 290 students. Additionally, we will add one more church packing site and we will once again begin our transition to real backpacks and gradually eliminate our use of plastic bags. This transition will help Micah's become more environmentally friendly and will help the students learn new responsibilities.
In closing, I am grateful and thankful for all the volunteers who worked lovingly every week to get food to the kids. None of this amazing outreach to children and families in our community would have happened without God's blessing and the prayers and financial, physical and emotional support from all of you . Together, we are feeding the future, one child at a time.
Enjoy your summer and please, pray for 'our' children
Micah's Backpack grew again! this month St. Paul's Methodist Church joined the Micah's backpack team and started another Micah's packing site and is now packing weekend food for 6 students at Parkwood Heights Elementary School. Another example of our mission of "Feeding our future, one child at a time."
Micah's packing site at St. Matthew's Lutheran church added a new school this month. Five students at Love Grove Elementary will have bags of food to take home every weekend. We know there are more students in need, especially during the ongoing pandemic.
Our numbers have gone up and down as some students switch from classroom to virtual learning. We added 10 students at Arlington Heights so on Wednesday evenings we pack for 160 children and on Thursday we prepare bags for 74. The bags are delivered to the front door of the schools on Thursday and Friday mornings.
Our friends and supporters at NuStar Energy Jacksonville continue to provide a truck load of food every week! So far this school year, they are supporting at least 5 children every week.
We added another school to the list, thanks to East Arlington Rotary's grant. We picked up 18 children at Fort Caroline elementary School this month. All is going well with our packing events and deliveries. With the addition of Fort Caroline Elementary, Micah's Backpack just surpassed it's goal of helping 200 kids in 2020!! We now have dedicated teams on two nights to pack for the schools. Keeping the groups small, wearing masks and distancing ourselves makes it possible to continue delivering weekend food to kids in need.
So much has happened already this year, and it is all so different because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But, Micah's Backpack Jax is still growing and feeding kids on the weekend.
Here is some really Big News!! Micah's Backpack Jax just received a grant from East Arlington Rotary. The club learned of a Rotary International grant that is specific for organizations that are feeding the hungry during the COVID 19 pandemic. The grant will support an additional 30 children and another school and will provide 60 incredible backpacks that will allow us to move closer to our goal of being 'green' and not dependant on the use of plastic bags. Thank you East Arlington Rotary!!!
The year began with a wonderful food drive by NuStar Energy. The employees at NuStar Energy are very active helping organizations in the community and they decided to help Micah's by having a month long food drive...a loaded pick up truck arrived with enough food to feed the kids for several weeks!
We are ready for the new school year!
while we are still waiting to get systems set up with the schools, we know we will be packing in small groups and will probably make our first deliveries during the first week of September. The plan now is to have volunteers sign up on-line and pack in small groups for each school. East Arlington Rotary has volunteered to do the shopping for us, which is a huge help!! Already they picked up, transported, delivered and stocked shelves with $1800 worth of food---and got it all done in 30 minutes!! Team Micah doesn't waste time. Get It Done! Our goal remains to Help Feed 200 Kids in 2020. Contact us, you can help feed hungry kids, stay safe and make a difference!
NuStar Energy food delivery by Mary and Richard.
East Arlington Rotary Food pick up at BJs