"BPBSI is an all volunteer, 501 (c) (3) nonprofit group who’s mission it is to supply weekend food and snacks to needy elementary school children that attend Mt. Zion Elementary School, Johns Island, S.C., living below the poverty line.
BPBSI was founded in May of 2014. We contacted the school in March of 2014 to see if there was a need for such a program. We were surprised to learn that 89% of the children attending Mt. Zion live below the poverty level.
During the week the children are fed breakfast and lunch at school, but when the weekends arrive parents and caregivers struggle to provide for them. In the recent past, these children would dash off the bus Monday morning to the lunchroom so they could get a nutritious breakfast. Imagine being asked to do schoolwork, after not having eaten all weekend. We have also heard stories of children saving half their sandwich on Friday afternoons so they would have something to eat over the weekend.
The children have been identified as needy, by the Charleston County Communities In Schools representative, for Mt. Zion.
In addition to the above, we have recently received phone calls from 2 elementary schools asking if they could also benefit from our program. There are in excess of 100 children in need, the majority of which are homeless. We have told them that, depending on our fundraising efforts, we will get back to them in August.
Each week we supply the aforementioned children with two breakfasts, 3 dinners, fruit, juice and milk as well as assorted snacks and protein items for the entire weekend. Each backpack costs approximately $5.00 per weekend, per child. If there are vacation days surrounding the weekend, we supply additional food for those days as well. This brings us to a total of approximately $200.00 per year, per child."