Snack Pack program looking for help

500 homeless Nassau County students potentially impacted

By Ashley Harding - Reporter

NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. - A local program aimed to keep children fed while they’re out of school needs your help.

A large number of public school students in Nassau County aren't sure where their next meal is coming from. The Snack Pack program helps keepthese vulnerable students fed when they’re away from the classroom. The program is run through the Barnabas Center -- the largest food pantry in Nassau County. It provides food items to go home with the students on the weekends.

Now, the Nassau County nonprofit needs help.

Right now, there are about 500 homeless students who need these meals. The program needs $50,000 to feed all 500. To make this happen in time for the new school year, they need your help.

Every school day, countless students take a break from learning and sit down to eat lunch. Sometimes it’s the child's only meal for the whole day.

The folks at Barnabas Center know it's a reality many families face.

"About one in four children are hungry or food insecure. It's a little hard to believe in a county like ours. A lot of people believe that we are very wealthy," said Wanda Lanier with the Barnabas Center,

Through the Barnabas Center's Snack Pack Program, these kids are able to go home with food for the weekend.

Lanier said about 500 students have been identified as being homeless.

With about $25,000 donated for this coming school year, the organization is able to feed about half that number.

That leaves the other half still in need. That's why your help is needed.

"If we're able to raise about $50,000, we should be able to serve all 500 kids who identify," said Lanier.

A typical Snack Pack meal a student would go home with could include canned items, fresh fruit, and even something for dessert. This nourishment can go a long way for these kids.

Lanier says donating just a little makes a huge difference.

"That's going to affect their future, so not just what they're doing in school today. But probably also during their lifetime," said Lanier.

To donate, you can contact the Barnabas Center by calling 904-261-7000 or visiting it website. The center is are located on 1303 Jasmine Street in Fernandina Beach.

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