Community feeds at-need students

Community feeds at-need students in all three elementary schools with Backpack Buddies
Posted on 11/06/2018

The weekend isn’t always a time of rest for students within Lynden Schools. For some students, the weekend signifies a time without regular access to food. A community-led program, Backpack Buddies, helps bridge that food equity gap for about 100 students in Lynden Schools’ three elementary schools by providing a pack full of food to take home from school on Friday afternoons.


For Lynden Schools, there comes the obvious compassionate piece of ensuring students in schools aren’t going hungry, but there is also a benefit for students throughout the week.


“We know that poverty and hunger hurts students in school and this opportunity allows us to bridge our school’s food program over the weekend,” says Courtney Ross, Fisher principal. “When kids are fed, not only are they more engaged in school, but it is truly one way to increase their learning, test scores and graduation rates.”


Currently three local churches fill the need. Hope Lutheran serves Fisher, First Reformed Church serves Bernice Vossbeck and Calvary Creekside serves Isom. Between the three schools about 100 students receive assistance from Backpack Buddies on a weekly basis.


Tammy Yoder, community volunteer who helps as a liaison for the program, says that Lynden’s Project Hope helps with food costs. Lynden’s Banner Bank is also currently running a food drive to help with the effort.


Calvary Creekside, located between Lynden and Everson on East Badger Road, has expanded beyond Isom and now serves all three Nooksack Valley Schools elementary schools, an effort that grew out of their service at Isom.


“We believe it is a great privilege to serve the kids and their families and stand in the gap in regard to hunger in their lives,” says Tony Neal, Calvary Creekside pastor. “It is something that is honoring to the Lord and a great privilege to serve our community in that regard.”


At all three Lynden buildings, church volunteers deliver packs to the school at the end of the week. The packs are discreetly handed out to students, selected based on the free and reduced lunch program. Food in the pack comes easy to prepare for young students.


For anyone interested in donating to Backpack Buddies you can donate via PayPal to Backpack Buddies of Lynden, via the Backpack Buddies of Lynden Facebook page or by mailing a check to Backpack Buddies of Lynden at 900 East Grover St., Lynden, WA 98264.