PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Many of the students in the Pascagoula School District will not have to go to bed hungry this school year thanks to some generous donors at a BBQ fundraiser in Jackson County. Employees from three local banks helped raise thousands of dollars Wednesday, so the Backpack Buddies Program can provide needy kids with nutritional meals.
The smell of good southern BBQ and baked beans filled the kitchen, as volunteers from Hancock, Merchants and Marine, and Community banks prepared to sell hundreds of plates to battle child hunger. Lauren Faucett helped organize the benefit.
"The Backpack Buddies were in need of a fundraiser, and this is something that I felt like I could help them with," Faucett said. "They make sure they give kids supper in the evenings, on the weekends, and in the summer."
According to Backpack Buddies, there are at least 100 needy children in the Pascagoula School District and the number is steadily growing.
"They are in the need of meals at night, and they are going to the nurses because their stomachs are hurting."
The good cause and good BBQ attracted hundreds of supporters.
"Most children are helpless to help themselves, so caring adults have to look out for them," Jackson County resident Ruth Kimbrough said.
"I have seen some kids in that situation, and that has to make you feel terrible if you are sitting there and your tummy is full and they are not," Jackson County resident Fred Pettersen said. "They are studying, or whatever, and they're not going to work at full speed."
The volunteers raised around $6,000 for the program, and they encourage more folks to also do their part to put an end to child hunger.
"We in the community have a responsibility to provide for those kids and make sure they go to bed with full stomachs," Faucett said.
All three banks also donated all of the food and supplies to sell at the fundraiser.