Servant Outreach
Northwest Guilford Area Backpack Ministry
The NW Guilford Backpack Ministry was founded in 2010 by Oak Ridge United Methodist Church, with the goal of helping hungry children in the local area. At its inception, a single volunteer spearheaded this project with only a few backpack kids. Over the years the ministry has grown exponentially and an executive board was created consisting of volunteers. Currently, 23% of children in our area are food insecure. These children and their families rely on the free or reduced lunch program for their children to receive meals while at school, but what about the weekends? The NW Guilford Backpack Ministry team is dedicated to helping each child in the program throughout the school year by filling backpacks once a week with the goal of feeding the child for the weekend when they don’t have access to school meals. The Backpack team goes beyond just food by providing the child and their family with a Christmas and Easter meal, as well as, other supplies as our budget allows or through donations.
The ministry runs on financial donations from individuals, local businesses, and community partners aided by local drives for food, new backpacks, and school supplies. This isn’t enough to support the over 100 children in the program from seven different schools. No matter how many kids are added to the program, each volunteer cares deeply about their wellbeing. The team operates every week throughout the school year. Every Wednesday, starting at 9:00 am, backpacks are packed by volunteers to be given to the school counselor at each school to be distributed to the children in the program on Thursday. On the fourth Wednesday of each month, backpacks are packed at 6:00 pm so that families and other groups
and organizations can participate. The ministry welcomes volunteers to participate in any capacity they feel they can use their time, energy, or resources.
There are many opportunities to volunteer service that include:
   - Financial sponsorship
   - Packing backpacks
   - Delivering and retrieving backpacks
   - Providing holiday treats
   - Donating individual food items, school supplies, and new backpacks
   - Sponsoring food drives as small groups or businesses
We welcome volunteers to help in any capacity they feel they can use their time, energy, or resources.
Each child in the program needs a financial sponsor. Sponsorships cost $375 per year, with different payment options available. This will provide the food for their backpack throughout the school year, a Birthday gift and card, snack-packs, and Holiday meals for the child’s entire family at Christmas and Easter.  A full sponsorship of $375* will cover the cost of feeding a child for the entire school year.  You can also select partial sponsorships that will feed a child for 6 months, 3 months, 2 months or a week.  All monetary donations will be applied toward a full sponsorship. To sponsor a child, please download a Sponsorship Form and submit it to the church with a check made out to ORUMC, memo: Backpack.  You can pay by credit card online by going to Give Now and follow the instructions.  You may also pay by credit card on your mobile device. Text Oakridgeumc Backpack to 73256 to give to the PTF - Backpack Club fund using your text messaging.  Standard text messaging rates may apply. 

If you are interested in purchasing food items to donate or wish to organize a food drive, please refer to the menu for items to purchase. Individual items can be dropped off at the Donation Center near the church office.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the following local businesses that support this ministry:

For more information, Email Us

School's served by our ministries:

  • Stokesdale Elementary
  • Summerfield Elementary
  • Oak Ridge Elementary
  • Northwest Middle School
  • Northwest High School
  • Oak Ridge Weekday School
Last Published: November 27, 2017 11:28 AM
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