On Saturday, March 19, the President & CEO of Feeding Empty Little Tummies (F.E.L.T.), Kim Bailey made a presentation to the AMI Kiwanis Club at their meeting place in the Chambers of the City of Bradenton Beach City Hall.
F.E.L.T. developed Manatee County’s Backpack Program in 2011 and it is designed to help end child hunger. Each week, on Friday, backpacks filled with food for a child to have to eat over the week-end are provided to children in need from K-12. There are approximately 1,600 needy – homeless and food insecure – students in Manatee County. F.E.L.T. provides approximately 1,275 backpacks weekly. Unfortunately, many of the high school students are reluctant to take part in the program because of the stigma of being identified as homeless or at risk for nutrition among their peers.
It is important that the children not be singled out and thus be identified as homeless, so the backpacks are of different colors. The child returns the backpack on Monday & then the next Friday receives another backpack.
At the present there are 72 participating schools and 115 volunteers. Since its inception 899,735 meals have been served. Each child in the F.E.L.T. backpack program is pre-qualified by Project Heart, the Manatee School District’s Title X Homeless Education Program, providing education related support services for students who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
For more information, visit the F.E.L.T. website www.feltinc.org. You can make a donation and/or become a Partner or Sponsor.
During May 2022, the Club will continue to meet every Saturday. Starting in June, the Club will meet monthly.
2022 Summer Schedule of Meetings: June 25, July 30, August 27
The Club will resume meetings every week starting September 10, 2022