Sea Trail event putting food in backpacks

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By Brian Slattery

WINGS Ministry will try to supersize its Backpacks Full of Blessings program with a fundraiser to stomp out hunger Saturday.

Stomp Out Hunger with the Voices of Destiny is the first event WINGS has organized to combine fundraising and donation collections with performances and activities at the Sea Trail Convention Center on Saturday, May 18, from 4-7 p.m.

“We are bringing awareness to the backpack program by bringing local groups in to perform, from the schools, youths groups and adult choirs,” Backpacks Full of Blessings organizer Missy Settlemyre said.

In the past two years, Settlemyre has started programs in seven schools to send a backpack filled with enough food for a weekend home with students whose families are in need.

The seven schools participating in the backpack program are: Supply Elementary, Virginia Williamson Elementary, Shallotte Middle School, Cedar Grove Elementary, Union Elementary, Waccamaw School and For Kids Only day care.

The program feeds students and their families. At the beginning of the school year, the program was feeding more than 550 families each weekend. The number has increased to 785 families.

The goal is to ensure children whose only regular meals during the week come from school breakfast and lunch programs have food from Friday night to Monday morning, Settlemyre said.

The bags are also supplied to provide one meal the entire family can sit down and eat together.

Students sign up for the program by filling out a form. Organizers don’t ask for anything more than name, age and number of people in the family.

Students aren’t identified on the bags, but a label identifies the grade and class each bag goes to.

For Saturday’s event, WINGS isn’t charging an entry fee but asks anyone interested in attending to donate nonperishable items to support the backpacks programs.

Items can include: mac-n-cheese, juice pouches, pudding packs, fruit cups, Hamburger Helper meals, SpaghettiO’s, fruit snacks, water, crackers, Ramen noodles, veggies in can, peanut butter (no glass please), jelly (no glass please), Pop Tarts, granola bars and applesauce.

The stomp part of the event is the fundraiser. Participants’ shoe size will be measured, and they can make a donation based on the number.

“Say your show measures a size 8. You could donate $8 or 8 pounds of food to the ministry,” Settlemyre said.

“We’re asking how many meals can we get out of your stomp.”

Performers will include the Shallotte Middle School Hand Bell Team, Soldier Bay Baptist Youth, the JinWright Singers, Pleasant Hill Youth, Eastside Band and Purple Rain.

“We want to bring awareness; we hope to get donations of food and maybe get some volunteers,” Settlemyre said.

There will be vendors to shop with; a silent auction to visit and door prizes awarded throughout the afternoon.

For more information, go to www.wingsministriesinc.com or call Settlemyre at (910) 512-7643, Michael Frink at (910) 620-0878 or Ola Samuel at (910) 512-6389.


Brian Slattery is a staff writer for The Brunswick Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or bslattery@brunswickbeacon.com.