Packing Back Hunger: Food Bank, Junior League Team Up

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The Brazos Valley Food Bank gives to more than 40 pantries across the region, and number that has grown since the start of operations in 1985.

However, there are many more than just those who frequent those dozens of locations that benefit from what the food bank does.

Case in point, the backpack program run by the Junior League helps out students at Bryan and College Station elementary schools.

It's a simple concept: bags are stuffed with nutricious and delicious treats, and each Friday, they're delivered to kids who need the extra boost over the weekend.

"The Junior League, every year, seeks out opportunities for different projects, and this was one that the food bank brought to us and asked if we'd like to be involved in," said Michelle Young, who heads up the program.

Jennifer Reed, an A&M student, helps deliver those backpacks.

"We get to interact with the counselors at the schools that choose the kids, and they always have wonderful stories to share about when the kids are so excited when they like something they get in their bags," Reed said.

"I really learned to see how the whole process works from beginning to end," she added, "and it's really cool to see how an idea that seems so simple to start with has made such a big impact."

The Junior League's partnership with the food bank includes their Future Impact gift as part of the league's 25th anniversary.

"It's just a great organization, and we wanted to continue to be involved," Young said.

The 12th annual Food for Families Food Drive on Thursday will help fill those backpacks and the shelves of the Brazos Valley Food Bank. The Brazos Center will be available for dropoff of non-perishable food items from 5:30 a.m. until 10:35 p.m.

The Kimbro Center in Madisonville and the MidSouth Synergy office in Navasota will be open for dropoffs from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. Thursday.