The Backpack Buddy Club 10 campaign kicked off this week, in an effort to fight childhood hunger in East Tennessee.
WBIR has partnered with B97.5 and Kroger for the two-week fundraiser, which runs from July 29th through August 10th. The campaign supports Second Harvest's "Food for Kids" program which supplies backpacks filled with kid-friendly food for elementary-aged children to take home over the weekend during the school year.
"There is a dire need for this food during the school year," said Second Harvest Director, Elaine Streno. "Because these children go home on the weekends and there's not three meals a day, sometimes there's not one meal a day. So this food is helping them."
Streno said this fall, more than 11,000 children are expected to participate in the Food for Kids program. That number includes children from 230 schools in 18 counties.
Kroger stores will give customers a chance to become a Backpack Buddy at all of its East Tennessee locations.
Shoppers will be able to make a donation to support the program by tearing off a Backpack Buddy club 10 card and scanning it at the register.
"I don't mind adding a little bit extra on," said Knoxville resident Amy Jendreck. She donated a few dollars on Monday at the Cedar Bluff Kroger.
"I think if a child is hungry they can't focus on learning," she said. "So if we can take care of that basic need, hopefully when they come back to school they're more focused."
Stay tuned to 10News throughout the Backpack Buddy Club 10 campaign as we highlight stories about the Food for Kids program and childhood hunger in East Tennessee.