The Lowcountry Food Bank (LCFB) announced on Oct. 7 that TD Charitable Foundation has donated $5,000 to support LCFB's BackPack Buddies program, which helps fight childhood hunger in the Lowcountry.

The funds will support enrollment of 1,200 food-insecure public school children in the BackPack Buddies program and distribute more than 40,000 packs of weekend food to children at risk of hunger. More than 150,000 pounds of food will be distributed through TD Charitable Foundation's donation during the 2019-20 school year in Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester, Georgetown, Horry and Jasper counties.

According to Feeding America, an estimated 47,310 children in these counties are food insecure. Therefore, nearly 18% of the children in these counties do not receive the nutrition they need to grow and thrive.

The LCFB's BackPack Buddies program alleviates weekend hunger among food-insecure public school children by distributing backpacks full of nutritious, kid-friendly food each Friday during the school year. Because free and reduced-price school breakfasts and lunches are not available over the weekend, low-income children are particularly vulnerable to hunger at this time. The LCFB relies on its community partners, including local nonprofits, businesses and faith-based organizations to help pack and deliver the backpacks. At the school sites, guidance counselors and other staff members distribute the packs to the children enrolled in the program.

The LCFB works closely with partner schools to identify the most food-insecure children. Chronic food insecurity has many adverse consequences for children, including impaired cognitive function, compromised ability to resist illness and anxiety. BackPack Buddies is a significant first step in improving both short-and long-term outcomes among children experiencing hunger.