God's Pantry and UK Athletics Team Up to Fight Childhood Hunger

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Sept. 3, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky.  - God's Pantry Food Bank and the University of Kentucky Athletics Department are teaming up for the 2010-2011 school year to help alleviate childhood hunger for children at four Lexington schools through the BackPack Program.

Many children in America rely on resources such as free or reduced-priced school lunch during the school year. The BackPack Program is designed to meet the needs of hungry children at times when other resources are not available, such as weekends and school vacations.

About the BackPack Program

  • Backpacks are filled with food that children take home on weekends.
  • All of the food is child-friendly, nonperishable, easily consumed and vitamin fortified.
  • Backpacks are discreetly distributed to children on the last day before the weekend or vacation.

The UK Athletics program approached God's Pantry Food Bank about becoming involved in a regular direct service to those in need. Throughout the school year, student-athletes from all sports and all of the athletics staff will engaged in the packing of the weekly supplements and then deliver them to Picadome, Lansdowne and Cassidy Elementary Schools and Morton Middle School.

"We are extremely excited to begin this partnership with UK," God's Pantry CEO Marian Guinn said. "We rely heavily on volunteer support and know that these schools will welcome having such notable and positive role models present in their schools."

The Athletics department will be packing backpacks on a weekly basis and delivering on Thursday or Friday each week.

"We are very excited to work with God's Pantry for the BackPack Program," UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. "Our goal is for our athletes and staff to do more community service than we've ever done in the past. I want us to be intentional about helping this community. As student-athletes at Kentucky, it's a privilege to be an athlete and to be given an opportunity to improve our education and our fitness. It's also important to continue being influential in the community we live and let people know we are very appreciative of everything this community does for us."

About God's Pantry: The mission of God's Pantry Food Bank is to reduce hunger in Kentucky through community cooperation making the best possible use of all available resources. We serve 50 counties of central and eastern Kentucky and distribute $10 worth of food for every $1 donated. Last year, God's Pantry Food Bank and its member agencies distributed more than 17.8 million pounds of groceries to more than 211,000 individuals. God's Pantry Food Bank is a member of Feeding America. Through community partnerships and distribution of food to 50,000 agencies, Feeding America collectively works to assure that people in need have access to a balanced diet.  For more information visit us at www.godspantry.org or www.feedingamerica.org.