Back Pack Buddies Donation

Surrounded by United Way of Palo Pinto County board members and Back Pack Buddies of Mineral Wells volunteers, Judy Jackson, center left, accepts a $5,000 donation from United Way of PPC board Chairman Christina Phenix on Friday outside Travis Elementary School.

Back Back Buddies of Mineral Wells has been exhausting resources to provide three-times more weekend snack packs than normal during the COVID-19 pandemic. United Way of Palo Pinto County last week helped make sure the non-profit agency didn't go financially hungry.

The local United Way agency presented Back Pack Buddies with a $5,000 check on Friday, a combination of funds from United Way Worldwide and United Way of Palo Pinto.

United Way of Palo Pinto County continues to help those struggling during this pandemic.

“There are many children in our community who have been impacted by this disaster and we believe Back Pack Buddies is the perfect way to help. We want our community to know that we are here and working hard to continue to serve the needs of our citizens, ” Christina Phenix, United Way board president.

"I'm grateful, overwhelmed and very, very happy," said Back Pack Buddies of Mineral Wells Executive Director Judy Jackson of the donation. "I appreciate their generosity. When they called I teared up. That was out of the blue."

When schools closed to the coronavirus health crisis, the Mineral Wells ISD food service department began providing drive-through meals at Travis Elementary School.

To continue its mission, Back Pack Buddies joined the district's effort by handing out weekend snack packs on Fridays to help ensure children did not go with too little, or without, food between Friday and Monday.

With school in session BPB would typically provide about 300 snack packs weekly. During the pandemic, the demand has been more than triple that with about 1,000 weekly food backs distributed.

The local United Way's mission is to provide an organized, accountable system to distribute funds to meet the human service needs of Palo Pinto County.

"Your generosity gives United Way the ability to make a positive impact in the lives of residents in our county," said Executive Director Barb Tucker.

Donations to United Way can be made by sending a check or money order to United Way of Palo Pinto Inc., P.O. Box 1223, Mineral Wells, TX 76068.

Jackson said the Friday snack pack hand outs will continue weekly at least through June on Fridays at Travis Elementary from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

To make a Back Pack Buddies donation, send a check or money order to Back Pack Buddies of Mineral Wells, P.O. Box 1466, Mineral Wells, TX 76068. To make a donation online, go to https://fumcmineralwells.churchcenter.com/giving. Type in the amount you wish to donate, and to the right select the box that says "General." A dropdown will appear to select "Back Pack Buddies," then complete the online donation process.

All donations to Back Pack Buddies of Mineral Wells goes directly to purchasing food and supplies.

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