Food drive helps to "Bust the Backpack" for children in need

Food drive helps to "Bust the Backpack" for children in need
(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - Paragould businesses are teaming up with Pay It Forward to feed the children in Greene County.

The Bust the Backpack Food Drive is underway.

Pay It Forward member Beverly Depew Cook said this is their fourth year for the fundraiser.

"This is one of the largest things we do for Pay It Forward," Cook said. "We are trying to support our community. We collect food for two weeks at several locations and then we give that food to the kids when they go on Spring Break who we think may not have that at home."

There are a number of businesses in the Paragould community that has agreed to house bins for food.

Food can be taken to drop off donations at any location and they will be picked up by a Pay It Forward member.

Cook said the need in Greene County is real.

"The need is bigger than it should be," Cook said. "It's very saddening. But it's just a very large need in our county. We just need nonperishable food. Something that is easy to fix. Something that a young child can go and get themselves. Like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or Ramen noodles. Something like that, that is easy and they can do on their own."

Cook asks Region 8 residents to think about the children and what it feels like to go hungry.

"You know, we really take for granted the things we have on a daily basis," Cook said. "And these kids, it's not their fault and there's nothing they can do to control it. As a community, I would just say when you're at the grocery store just buy a couple of extra things for those kids who can't have it because it's a big deal. It's a big deal on whether they know if they're going to eat tomorrow or not."

All children in need that attend a school in the Paragould School District, Greene County Tech or Marmaduke will receive backpacks.

You can drop off donations at Rouge Spa and Salon, Anytime Fitness, Hays Grocery Store West, Elements Salon, Swirls, First Class Cuts, Postnet and Downtown Gypsy.

You'll find a tub in the business with a "Bust the Backpack" sign on it.

Cook said they need nonperishable items for the backpacks.

Examples of what you can purchase are bottled water, canned fruit, canned pasta, canned soup, easy mac, granola bars, individual cereal boxes, oatmeal packs, peanut butter, pop tarts, pudding cups, Ramen noodles or snack crackers.

If you would like to donate money, you can find Pay It Forward on their Facebook page.

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