Richland One Backpack Meal Program Receives $33,000+ Donation
Richland One received a $33,805 donation from Eastminster Presbyterian Church to provide meals to families in the district’s Backpack Program, which gives students in need food to take home on weekends.
The generous gift was funded through Eastminster’s Souper Bowl of Caring (SBOC) S.C. Challenge, a two-month campaign that collected money for charities and organizations to tackle hunger in our communities.
Dr. Brad Smith, Eastminster senior pastor and founder of the Souper Bowl of Caring, presented the check to Richland One Superintendent Dr. Craig Witherspoon on June 17.
“We, as a community, need to be reminded of the hope that is possible when we all rally together to support our neighbors in need,” said Dr. Smith. “That's what this year’s Souper Bowl of Caring S.C. Challenge was all about."
Initiated by Eastminster and the S.C. branch of SBOC, the S.C. Challenge raised $766,117, an amount three times as large as last year’s total and just shy of its $1 million goal. Over 250 faith communities, school districts, neighborhoods and civic groups participated in the SBOC S.C. Challenge by hosting food drives and collections this year. As an added incentive to help reach the $1 million goal, Eastminster matched 15% of all donations collected. As a result, 178 local charities, including local food pantries with record low inventories, will receive donation checks this summer.
According to Feeding America, 600,000 neighbors in South Carolina are food insecure. These startling numbers have been impacted by COVID-19 setbacks. To meet the continual challenges of hunger and homelessness in our state, Dr. Smith encourages South Carolinians to participate in the 2022 Souper Bowl collection drives in February by going to tacklehunger.org.
Since 1990, more than $160 million has been donated to charities across America as the SBOC has expanded into a national movement of congregations, schools and others working together to transform the time around the Super Bowl into a time of caring.