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12 WHO CARE | Bonnie Vanderberg fills backpacks with non-perishable items for children in need

At the start of the 2015 school year, Micah’s Backpack was only serving five kids. By the end of the 2015 school year, that number rose to 150.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Every day, a child on our First Coast is faced with the dilemma of not knowing where he or she will get their next meal. But there’s a local woman who is working hard to change that -- Bonnie Vanderberg. 

Vanderberg became a volunteer with the organization Micah’s Backpack while she and her husband lived in Blacksburg, Virginia in 2009. After moving back to Jacksonville, Vanderberg decided to start a version of the organization here.

In 2015, Vanderberg kicked off Micah’s Backpack, Jacksonville at Lone Star Elementary School in Arlington. 

At the start of the 2015 school year Micah’s Backpack, Jacksonville was only serving five kids, but by the end of the 2015 school year, the organization was serving 50. Some four years later, Vanderberg along with volunteers are now helping more than 150 kids at five different elementary schools in Arlington.

Vanderberg says she and her husband spend between $800 to a $1000 every week for food.

With the help of volunteers, Vanderberg assembles bags filled with non-perishable items at Highlands United Presbyterian Church on Thursdays. Then on Fridays, she, along with the volunteers, deliver the bags to the five different elementary schools in Arlington.

If you would like to become a volunteer with Micah’s Backpack, Jacksonville, donate food or money to help feed children here on our First Coast in need, you can visit the organization’s website at micahsbackpack@comcast.net. Or you can visit their Facebook page Micah’s Backpack, Jacksonville.

Vanderberg says $240 will feed a child every weekend during the school year.

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