About the Backpack Ministry
The Backpack program concept was developed in 1995 in Little Rock, Arkansas after a school nurse asked for help. She noticed many students arriving in her office every Monday morning complaining of hunger-related ailments. The nurse contacted the local food bank and the Backpack program was born.
Locally, the East TX Food Bank launched its backpack program in 2005, operating at schools and after-school programs where there is a demonstrated need.
In Nacogdoches, the backpack program serves the NISD elementary schools.
First Baptist joined in this effort to love our local community by implementing the Backpack Ministry in 2018. Overseen by the FBC Missions Committee, the Backpack Ministry partnered with Nettie Marshall Elementary school to provide weekly bags of food for identified students. This year our focus and partner school will be TJR Elementary.
Each week, bags are filled with nutritious food and a Bible story/activity. Students take them home each Friday to tide them over until they return to school Monday morning.
How does this happen? It takes the hearts, hands, and feet of many volunteers; from shoppers and organizers, to packers and deliverers. Who are these people and what do they do? Pam Stanaland develops the weekly menus and places orders for the food to the East Texas Food Bank, Sam’s, & Kroger.
Pam & and Paula Griffin transport food from the storage facility to First Baptist and organize the items for monthly packing.
Our Children’s Minister, Melanie Matson & Barbara Breazeale work together to provide a Bible story/activity sheet to go in each of the bags. Mission Friends, RAs, & GAs provide special treats to put in the food bags every month and for special holidays.
Patsy Barton & Sue Sanders meet Wednesday morning to ready the food for packing. They organize, count, and recount the items in the Kerr classroom.
Packing the bags on Wednesdays is coordinated by Preston and Kathy Lamar. Many FBC classes are involved and include Sunday school classes of all ages, Mission Friends, RAs & GAs. Jimmy and Mary Beth Carpenter coordinate the pick-up of food bags from FBC and deliver them to TJR every Thursday.
Thank you to all the hearts, hands, and feet that have a part in the Backpack Ministry every week. Thank you for helping us love our community with your prayers, monetary and food donations, and your time.
It takes many volunteers to make this ministry happen. If you’d like to be a part of the Backpack Ministry, send us an or call the church office (936-564-7379)!