Jason and Amanda Dufner have been teaming up with volunteers from Auburn University’s Campus Kitchens Project as part of the national Blessings in a Backpack program.
Jason, a pro golfer and Auburn alum, and Amanda are sponsoring the project, which sends a bag of food home every Friday with children in need. The children are part of their school’s free and reduced lunch program, and in some cases the provided food may be their only source of food for the entire weekend.
According to their website, Blessings in a Backpack partners with America to ensure that impoverished elementary school children are fed on the weekends throughout the entire school year.
Jennifer Commander, Auburn University’s Program Assistant for the Office of Public Service, said the Dufners provided the necessary funds to carry out this project, and that they work alongside Auburn University volunteers to help pack and distribute the food.
“We were approached by the Dufners and the national organization to see if our office would be willing to provide a program coordinator for the project,” Commander said. “So our involvement has been accepting the role as program coordinator and accepting the responsibilities that go along with that.”
The Blessings in a Backpack organization provides schoolchildren who are part of the federal Free and Reduced Lunch Meal Program with a bag of easy-to-prepare and ready-to-eat foods for every weekend during the school year.
Commander said every week they send bags to schools in Auburn and Opelika.
“Every week we pack 275 bags of food,” Commander said. “We then deliver them to the two elementary schools that we are providing for. On Friday, while the students are in recess, the teachers will put the Ziploc bags in the backpacks of the children picked to receive them.”
The Dufners, along with Auburn University, are helping to combat an issue that affects more than 20 million children in this country alone.
Check out the Blessings in a Backpack website for more information on how to donate to the program, or adopt a school in your area.