BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — It’s holiday break for students in Bryan and College Station.
Right now, 41 schools are empty, but a local group is working to make sure students belly’s stay full.
The Brazos Valley Food Bank is stuffing backpacks a little extra this holiday season with food to eat, making sure no student goes hungry.
“Just the importance of having something to eat, we have a variety of different groups that we serve, different students,” says Destiny Lavador, Food and Friends Manager, Brazos Valley Food Bank. “We have different meals that students will like. We have a variety of food that we offer.”
The Brazos Valley Food Bank distributes nearly 55,000 backpacks in a school year.
“From October until December, we packed and distributed around 18,000 backpacks,” says Shannon Avila, Programs Director, Brazos Valley Food Bank. “That works out to 1,700 or 1,800 bags weekly that are going out to the schools and through those schools to the kiddos.”
On Tuesdays, volunteers come together at the food bank and organize into five assembly lines, producing 1,400 backpack bags.
“One backpack will take about 20 seconds, but we do 120 at a time so it takes about seven volunteers to do 120,” says Lavador. “It takes about roughly 30 minutes.”
Avila says schools and coordinators mention how these backpacks are making a difference.
“Backpacks can help fill kiddos' tummies, but it can have impacts that we didn’t necessarily think of in the beginning, helping the child to feel more comfortable at school, more focused, helping the child to feel more supported by their school or even developing more trust with their school because this is a way for the school to also show them that they care about the student,” says Avila.
If you would like to help put together backpacks for kiddos or just volunteer, you can visit their website here.