RIFA collects food for students in need

JACKSON, Tenn. — People across Jackson filled school buses with food for a good cause on Saturday.

“I think we’ve been doing very well. I’m very pleased with what we have so far, and I’m very pleased with the financial donations we’ve received as well,” said RIFA’s volunteer coordinator, Dan Ward.

The Regional Inter-Faith Association partnered with all Kroger and Wal-Mart locations in Jackson for their Pack the Bus food drive.

“This is where we collect between 14 and 16 thousand pounds of food that we’ll utilize for our Snack Backpack program,” Ward said.

Snack Backpack benefits children who often only get to eat at school, and these donations help feed them when they’re outside of school.

“80% of the kids in our public school system, their families are at or below the poverty line. 43% come from homes that are single-family. This food is very much needed on the weekends to fill that gap,” Ward said.

The food drive brought customers in to do their part for children in need.

“I’ve been working up front with our cashiers, and we have been seeing a lot of good representation for everyone trying to donate,” said Laura Fields, store manager of Kroger’s Lynnwood location.

Fields also said that this event really helps provide for kids in the community.

“I really feel like they value what this event is all about because it touches so many lives in our Jackson are, and you can see that people really take heart to what we’re trying to accomplish here,” Fields said.

Overall, RIFA collected 15,115 lbs of food and over $5,000 in monetary donations for their Snack Backpack program.

If you missed Pack the Bus and still want to donate to the Snack Backpack program, you can take kid-friendly, non-perishable donations, such as easy mac, pop tarts, and ravioli, to RIFA’s donation center at 133 Airways Blvd.

RIFA is also accepting monetary donations for the program.

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