Sacks of Love Ministry helps feed kids

It is a well-known fact that many school children do not have enough to eat at home. The Sacks of Love Ministry has been addressing this problem for many years.

According to a press release, Harlan County was home to a population over 75,000 in 1940. Today, it is around 28,000 with one-third of these living below the poverty level.

According to Kentucky Sacks of Love Co-director Judy Caulder, the organization’s main focus is furnishing weekend food for schoolchildren.

“Many don’t have enough food to eat on the weekends,” Caulder said. “We usually deliver the food to the schools every four to six weeks. We used to use backpacks, but now we mostly use the grocery bags and those are put down in their regular backpacks.”

Caulder said the food is packed by volunteers, mission teams, local churches and older students.

“Sometimes as a project, student councils or sports teams will pack the bags,” Caulder said.

The food consists of items the students can prepare themselves, such as beanie weenies, Vienna sausage, potted meat, small boxes of cereal, Pop-Tarts, cereal bars, fruit cups, applesauce, juice boxes and powdered milk.

Caulder said Sacks of Love took over the program after another organization stopped.

“Our main focus is the food, but we also help with school supplies,” Caulder said. “I am getting a list together now from the resource centers which school supplies they anticipate needing next school year. We have a group out of Georgia that has helped the last couple of years with school supplies. I will send them a list, they will order and ship the school supplies here and we will deliver to the schools.”

Caulder explained all the items are paid for with donations.

“We get donations from local churches, the Kentucky Baptist Convention, the Georgia Baptist Convention and others,” Caulder said. “There used to be a program through the North America Missions Board that dealt with helping Appalachia. That was kind of phased out, but Georgia Baptist has picked it up and it’s now called “Appalachian Mountain Ministry. They are very helpful.”

Anybody who would like to make a donation or volunteer should contact Caulder at jscaulder@bellsouth.net.