Please support the Hartsville Backpack Program

Dear Editor,

The Hartsville Backpack Program was established in 2011 to assure that the children in Trousdale County would have enough food to eat. Through the years, we have grown and diversified in the ways we deliver services to our children and families.

We began our program providing “backpacks” of food on Fridays as students left school for the weekend. After a few years we decided to offer food boxes to the families of our children during the summer months when we were off from school. Then a few years later, we determined that our families needed help with the supplies needed to start the school year.

This year the world has changed. Since March 30 we have provided food for Trousdale County families every Saturday morning. With the changes in the school structure, we feel we should continue the Saturday program until all students attend school daily.

As a result, we need your help. First of all, we are looking for volunteers who can spend three hours on Saturday morning working at the program. Volunteers box the food to be given out each Saturday from 9-11 a.m. and also help make sure all required paperwork and documentation is completed. Generally, these volunteers should be at least 21 years of age.

We are also looking for monetary donations to support the program. Some may ask, “Why money instead of food?” The answer is simple. We partner with the Second Harvest Food Bank to purchase items. Second Harvest is able to sell us food from their shelves at a much lower rate than can be purchased from local stores. In addition, we strive to make sure all boxes are equitable, which is hard to do if we accept donations of food.

Throughout our existence we have had several faithful individuals who have supported us on a regular basis. We have also had local churches like Enon Chapel which has donated every month since the program began, and the Church of the Firstborn, which hosts our program in the basement of their church; civic groups like the Rotary Club, which has provided grants and volunteers; and local businesses like Trousdale Medical Center and Wilson Bank & Trust who have conducted special projects to assist our program. And these are just a few who have stepped up to be a part of this work and support the program.

As we look toward the 2020-2021 school year, we are unsure of what may be coming our way. But we do know that we are planning on continuing our efforts and we are asking for your help. All money that is donated to the Hartsville Backpack Program is used for Trousdale County families. It is tax deductible, as we are a part of the Just Hope 501©3 designated non-profit by the Internal Revenue Service.

If you need more information about our program or would like to volunteer, please contact me at 615-374-0907 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. or email me at kathrynatwood


Kathy Atwood

School Backpack Coordinator

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