TABLE’s Weekend Meal Backpack program, which feeds students in need, begins again today. About 31 percent of Chapel Hill-Carrboro elementary school children receive subsidized school lunches and breakfasts.
For those children, that usually means going hungry on weekends.
TABLE’s goal is provide healthy and nutritious food to students in need, said Ashton Chatham Tippins, TABLE’s executive director.
“One of our big goals is to serve 325 kids each week,” Tippins said.
TABLE served 12 students during the first week of the Weekend Meal Backpack program when it launched in 2008, said Laura Moore, TABLE’s program director.
TABLE has expanded its reach to more after school centers and nonprofit organizations this year, Tippins said. As of now, the organization serves four local elementary schools and hopes to serve as many as seven in the future.
The number of families receiving food and nutrition services more than doubled between 2008 and 2014, according to data compiled by the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce.
TABLE gets connected to students in need through elementary schools, after-school programs and organizations like Empowerment Inc., which helps people find affordable housing options.