Filling Weekends With Food

Blessings In A Backpack Receives A Boost
Posted on 11/01/2023
Blessings In A Backpack logoAt Royal Oak Schools, we are fortunate to have dedicated individuals like Shelley Lake, organizer of Blessings in a Backpack for Royal Oak Schools, who are passionate about making a difference in the lives of our students. Shelley firmly believes that no child should go hungry on the weekends.

"During the school year, students have access to breakfast and lunch, but the weekends present a different challenge," Lake said. "For those without access to food during this time, it means 59 hours without nourishment."

Shelley Lake's passion is ensuring students have food on weekends. Every Wednesday at 3:00 p.m., dedicated volunteers gather to pack individual bags, which are then meticulously counted into bins designated for each school in the district. These bins are then delivered to the schools, where school secretaries or their representatives discreetly place the bags in students' lockers. This approach eliminates any stigma associated with receiving a Blessings Bag and allows students to stow them in their personal backpacks to take them home. Bags contain items for two breakfasts, two lunches, and two dinners. While these may not always resemble typical meals, they provide essential sustenance, including protein, a drink, and a snack.

Shelley's dedication to Blessings has transformed it from a mere weekly activity into a full-fledged mission. From meticulous planning to fundraising and execution, Blessings has become an integral part of her life. This sentiment extends to the volunteers who share in her dedication and feel a sense of responsibility to make a difference. Completing the packing of Blessings Bags is a moment of celebration, with volunteers clapping and cheering, knowing they are making a profound impact on our students, she shared.

Helping Blessings In A Backpack to make that impact is Meijer. Last month, Shelley Lake was presented with a check from Woodward Corner Market (a Meijer store) for $5000. Natalie Rubino, Store Director, said, "Enriching lives in the communities we serve starts with our teams." She said that Woodward Corner Market was challenged to research, nominate, and vote on a local non-profit organization to receive a special one-time donation from Meijer. Blessings In A Backpack was the overwhelming winner. "Thank you for enriching lives in our communities — we appreciate your passion for serving others," she said in a letter congratulating Lake.

"I love Blessings and have made it part of my life," Lake said. "Blessings has been a perfect outlet for my energy and that I truly believe in Service Above Self. It puts a smile on my face every time we complete packing the bags."

For more information and for ways that you can help, please follow Blessings In A Backpack on Facebook. To sign up for Blessings In A Backpack, use this link.