RIFA works to fill the buses and fill students’ bellies

JACKSON, Tenn. –Regional Interfaith Association, RIFA, held their annual Pack the Bus fundraiser for their Snack Backpack program.

“We do this once a year, we have buses parked at Walmart north, Walmart south, Kroger Lynnwood, Kroger University and Kroger Stonebrook. We will be here until 3:30 this afternoon and the goal is to fill all of the buses up with the Snack Backpack food items,” said Lisa Tillman, Executive Director, RIFA.

You could donate, crackers, pastries, soup and other items for the backpacks. Once everything is collected it’s packed into a backpack and given to youth around the city.

“We’ve got volunteers that come in and assemble about 1,200 Snack Backpacks every week and then and those Snack Backpacks are distributed to the different elementary schools around town, and then kids take home with them on Fridays to help them bridge that gap on Saturday and Sunday,” Tillman said.

It’s RIFA’s mission to serve the community and those in need, with the rise of food costs, this years event is crucial.

“Just puts more of a burden on families that are trying to pay their rent and keep their utilities on and buy groceries. Food costs has gone up for them, its gone up for us and so that’s why it’s important to come out and support RIFA, to pack the bus,” Tillman said.

Each year different locations compete to see who has the most donations, every year RIFA tries to beat their goal from the previous year, and at the end of the day the organization will weigh and count everything they’ve received.

“The more food that we can collect today, obviously, the more Snack Backpacks that we can assemble and the more kids that we can feed,” Tillman said.

To volunteer with RIFA, you can visit their website to see what volunteer area fits you best.

The next event for RIFA will be in September, with their largest fundraiser, Canstruction.

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