By Sam Poe
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 | 6:08 PM
Lynn Stults, Chris Cummings, and Fay Cummings donate their time to stocking shelves for the Backpack Ministry.
We often hear of starving children in third world countries and wish there was something we could do to help. However, it is easy to look over the need in our own communities. We choose to look at the world through rose colored glasses, and we overlook a very delicate group of children under our own noses.
In Haleyville Elementary School alone, there is a group of at least twenty-five students who do not have food to eat except what they are served at school. From Friday afternoon until Monday morning these children may go without a single meal. A group at Littleville United Methodist Church learned of this need a few years ago, and they took a small step to help out with a big problem.
Fay Cummings organizes the "Backpack Ministry" each school year. With this program, LUMC is able to send enough food home to feed each child through the weekend. In the package, the children receive enough for three meals and two snacks per day (Saturday and Sunday). As you can see in the photo above, donations have been limited this summer, and the shelves need to be stocked for the new school year. With the current stock, Fay estimates the twenty-five children currently on the list can be fed for 3-4 weeks. Although the shelves seem bare, the project organizers aren't worried. They stated that no matter how low items get, supplies always arrive just in time.
The Backpack Ministry is a community-based, donations only project. The group has worked with community partners in the past years to receive limited grant money and hope to renew that for this year; however, no final plans have been put in place at this time. If you would like to donate to the project, contact Scott or Alicia Ward at (205)486-4701 or Fay Cummings at (205)522-6157. Monetary and food donations are graciously accepted.
If you would like to donate food, it has to be non-perishable items that do not require water or electricity to prepare (because we don't know the conditions of the home) and individually wrapped. Items most commonly used in the packages are Capri Sun or Kool-Aid Jammers juice packets, individual pudding and jell-o packets, Chef Boyardee pasta, Little Debbie treats and other snack items, pop tarts, and individual cereals (but no milk).