For 25 years, Charlie Traylor has served the metro school system of Nashville, Tennessee. Currently, she is the school counselor at Shwab Elementary School, located a few miles outside of downtown Nashville.

Nearly all of the 400 students at Shwab Elementary qualify for the federal free and reduced price National School Lunch Program.

Four years ago, Blessings in a Backpack reached out to Shwab Elementary with the desire to help, and the school has been working to feed its children on the weekends ever since.

Charlie, the school’s Program Coordinator, works with her volunteers to pack bags of food and distribute these bags to students every other week. The program attracts a wide range of volunteers from parents and grandparents to corporate volunteers from Crown Castle and college students from nearby Vanderbilt University and Tennessee State University.

I don’t know where our students and their families would be if it weren’t for Blessings in a Backpack, Charlie says. This organization has made it so simple for us to feed hungry students. Anytime we need help, they do whatever they can. Over the years, Charlie says Blessings in a Backpack has provided a safety net for displaced families, immigrant families, and children with ill or hospitalized parents in the community.

It makes such a difference to see students come to school happy, not hungry, she says.

Blessings in a Backpack is grateful for the work of Charlie and the rest of our entire network of volunteers across the country. Click here to learn how to start a program in your community.