As thousands of children head back to school, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle is gearing up for a full year of making sure that as many kids as possible have enough food to eat. With the launch of the Child Food Hub in September 2018, there is a planned increased to provide 2,900 children each week with BackPack Buddies bags so they’ll have food to eat over the weekend.


Also, 28 schools in Wake, Durham, Johnston and Edgecombe counties will operate School Pantries to ensure that students and staff have access to free, nutritious food to feed their families.  Students are heading back to school, but the bottom line is:  if you’re hungry, you can’t learn.


Programs like BackPack Buddies and School Pantries do the heavy lifting in the fight against of childhood hunger in our school communities. The numbers are daunting:  1 in 5 children in North Carolina is at risk of hunger and 181,000 students in Wake County schools are on free and reduced lunch.


In late August our community rallied together to support these students. Inter-Faith Food Shuttle partnered with WNCN, CBS17 to spread the word about the efforts being made to ensure that children have access to the nutritious food they need so that they can succeed in school.  CBS17 spent a week highlighting Food Shuttle programs that are specifically geared toward children’s nutrition and education, beginning with the Child Food Hub and BackPack Buddies, and moving on through Urban Agricultural Education at Camden Street Learning Garden, the Mobile Tastiness Machine and our partnership with area schools and School Pantries.  Each news segment ended with the news anchors directing viewers to an Inter-Faith Food Shuttle donation page on the CBS17 website.

In addition, the Wednesday noon news featured an interview with Child Hunger Program Manager Amber Simmons who spoke about BackPack Buddies and how the program has grown to serve over 80 schools in the area.  Amber summed up the program, “BackPack Buddies is for those elementary school children who apply for free and reduced lunch and who are at risk of going hungry over the weekend.  We are able to provide them with six balanced meals and two snacks to get them over the hump of the weekend and saying ‘Where am I going to get my food from next?’”


Plus, Robin Madison, Development Relations Manager, was interviewed for the CBS17 digital site and had the chance to talk about the Mobile Tastiness Machine and the myriad ways the community can support the efforts of Inter-Faith Food Shuttle.


To give a gift to support Back to School programs, please visit



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Monday, June 17, is Nexstar Media’s 2019 Founder’s Day of Caring! To commemorate the holiday, CBS 17 employees spent their Monday donating their time and talent working in service to the community.

Our CBS 17 team worked with the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle in Durham, the Food Shuttle Farm in Raleigh and the Urban Ministry in Fayetteville.

Groups worked to support these worthy organizations by assembling and providing grocery bags for seniors, sorting food donations for Backpack Buddies which are filled with essential meals and snacks for children in need of emergency food relief, and helping the warehouse staff with food recovery sorting.

Another group of our adventurous CBS 17’ers went out on the farm and assisted farm staff pulling weeds, transplanting crops and preparing produce for distribution.

We at CBS 17 are proud to care about our community and encourage all businesses to consider a similar effort and come together for the greater good of the community in a tangible way.

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