Greensboro Montessori School middle school students are excited to be giving back by donating produce harvested from our gardens to BackPack Beginnings. Last Friday marked our first official donation. Students within the Farm Career from the School’s microeconomy program harvested two full crates of persimmons, peppers and bags of mixed greens, slated to go to students in need from Jones Elementary.
Several weeks prior, students sent a letter to BackPack Beginnings, extending their support and stating their eagerness to work with them. Then, our eighth grade Farm Manager called Tessa Kirkpatrick, Fresh Food Coordinator at BackPack Beginnings, to arrange a pick up for Friday.
Our relationship with BackPack Beginnings offers a wonderful example of how Greensboro Montessori School’s unique middle school programs prepare students to be proactive, mature communicators who are capable of adult interaction. It also illustrates how our students want our school community to experience health and well-being while also helping the Greater Greensboro community to be “full” and nourished. We plan to continue to donate weekly to the BackPack Beginnings Fresh Food Initiative and hope that this is the start of a beautiful partnership.
More about BackPack Beginnings and the Fresh Food Initiative
BackPack Beginnings is a 100% volunteer 501(c)(3) organization focused on delivering child-centric services to feed, comfort and clothe children in need. By ensuring food and basic necessities are given directly to children in need, BackPack Beginnings makes a positive and lasting impact on their health and well-being. The organization was founded six years ago by Parker White, a local mom who wanted to provide hungry children with food over the weekends. BackPack Beginnings has since expanded beyond food back packs and now includes comfort back packs, clothing pantries and food pantries.
BackPack Beginnings’ food back packs and pantries are enhanced by the organization’s Fresh Food Initiative. Fresh fruits and vegetables improve children’s nutrition, help prevent chronic health issues and curb childhood obesity. More and more research also points to diets rich in fresh foods improving children’s ability to learn and their overall school performance.
Led by volunteer Tessa Kirkpatrick (one of our very own Greensboro Montessori School parents), the Fresh Food Initiative focuses solely on making fresh fruits and vegetables available to children in need. Tessa coordinates with multiple agencies, churches, schools and community gardens each week to gather and redistribute fresh food throughout the county. Since July 1, 2016, the Fresh Food Initiative has distributed over 10,000 pounds of produce.