Over 600 children in the Bath area qualify for free or reduced meals through the National School Lunch Program, but that program does not provide meals on weekends and school vacations, and many children come to school hungry on Monday mornings.
Good Shepherd Food Bank’s Backpack Program, begun by the United Methodist Church, provides children who are suffering the effects of chronic hunger with nutritious, easy-to-prepare food to eat during weekends and school vacations when those crucial school meals are unavailable. Funding for this program comes from donations, large and small. You can even sponsor a student for the whole year for $225, which many Grace parishioners do.
Each qualifying child at four different Bath-area schools receives nutritious snacks and a family meal for each weekend during the year. There is also a Food Pantry at Bath Middle School. The GSFB delivers food to Dyke-Newell School, and once the food is received, community and church volunteers, including several from Grace, pack the recyclable sealed bags provided by GS, so they can be distributed at the schools on a weekly or biweekly basis. Three parishioners also serve on the Board of Directors.
The BABPP has applied to become a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization.