Downtown Blacksburg Inc. is proud to present our non-profit Member of the Month for May 2019- Micah’s Backpack.
Micah’s Backpack provides direct food assistance for children from low-income families in seven local schools and two preschool programs. Every Friday during the school year, the identified students receive a backpack filled with two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners, snacks, juice and milk boxes, and an educational piece. On Thursday evenings up to 100 volunteers from various academic, civic, and interfaith groups volunteer together with staff building community while packing the backpacks. On Friday mornings, volunteers deliver the bags and the partner schools distribute to the students. Currently, 349 children in Blacksburg schools receive a gift of healthy food during the academic year and approximately 240 during the summer school break. By feeding this vulnerable population we demonstrate that their community cares about them.
The program falls under the Micah’s Caring Initiative umbrella, which also includes Micah’s Mobile Backpack. During the summer months when students are out of school, we take our big orange bus and attempt to feed as many as possible. The children love when it’s “Micah’s Day” and local teachers ride the bus to assist in delivering the bags, lending out books, and offering fresh blueberries from 3 Birds Berry Farm and vegetables from the garden. We feed any children under the age of 18 and offer a menu so they get a personalized bag each week just for them.
Throughout the year you can support Micah’s Backpack in many ways. Volunteer opportunities exist weekly from helping with packing bags, organizing food donations, breaking down cardboard, restocking inventory, and more. We gather at the church at 5:30 to begin set up and packing takes off at 6:00. There are also opportunities to help with delivering the bags to the schools on Fridays. Some other events that occur throughout the year and benefit Micah’s Backpack are the Gingerbread House Contest, Hokie Half Marathon water stop, Blacksburg Brew Do Festival, Fork & Cork Festival, VT Empty Bowls, and many more restaurant/business fundraisers.
Micah’s Backpack is directed by Sarah Ryan and is fueled by an incredible team of volunteers both from the community and from St. Michael’s Lutheran Church where it is housed. We would love to have you join our efforts as we work to address food insecurity.