The mission of Catawba County’s Backpack Program is to provide weekend nourishment to students in Catawba County who face hunger on the weekends. The program provides breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks each weekend of the school year. The Backpack Program works with schools throughout the county to provide children with a backpack filled with food every Friday throughout the school year. The program seeks to assist children who participate in the Federal Free and Reduced Meal Program or families who temporarily find themselves choosing between food and other living expenses.

Parents apply for the program through their child’s school counselor.

Local churches and businesses serve as the sponsors that pack the bags each weekend deliver them to the schools.  Hickory Soup Kitchen provides purchasing power through partner food suppliers, truck transportation, and warehouse space. The program is primarily funded through donations received by individuals, churches, and businesses. $100 per year provides one child with a backpack each weekend of the school year.

Our church supports Catawba County’s Backpack Program in two ways: by giving mission funds so that food for the backpacks can be purchased economically, and we provide volunteers (youth groups, VBS kids, and others) to pack and distribute the backpacks.

If you would like to volunteer or sponsor a child, please contact Amanda Freeland, Backpack Program coordinator, at