Brain food? One of the key leadership lessons I learned from both my father and during my time in the Marines is that if your men are hungry it is always going to be very difficult to get much accomplished.

The same reasoning goes with children; if a child is not getting enough to eat I can guarantee you it will negatively impact everything else in their life.  Whether in the classroom, on the playground or out in the community; young people need healthy nourishment to operate at their fullest God-given potential.  In a community and a nation as blessed as we are there is absolutely no excuse for “our” children to be going hungry, in my mind it is a spiritual, ethical and social justice issue that demands a solution.

Two years ago I met one solution and her name is Parker White.  She is the founder and executive director of BackPack Beginnings, a 100% volunteer nonprofit now serving over 2,200 students in 18 Guilford County schools annually to ensure no child goes hungry over the weekend.  What I like most about Parker is that she is a mother herself and she established this program simply because she cares about kids and is determined to give every child a chance to succeed. At the High Point Community Foundation we are constantly evaluating nonprofits and when considering a grant we look for; transparency, sustainability and most of all effectiveness which we clearly see at BackPack Beginnings.

In the community of High Point, BackPack Beginnings is serving Johnson Street Global Studies, Montlieu Elementary, Parkview Elementary, Macedonia Headstart, Northwood Elementary, Oak Hill Elementary and Union Hill Elementary.  In fact, 56% of our students (41,000 children) in the High Point area schools qualify for free/reduced lunches!  If you want to make a truly decisive impact upon our schools and immediately change the lives our children for the better then every one of us should be giving to BackPack Beginnings.  Think of your gift as a way to help every one of our children become strong, healthy students who will grow up to be community college and university graduates and then come back to our community and add to our tax base.  In my experience most good philanthropy is always a sound business investment as well…let’s invest in High Point‘s future today…

[Note: some data may have changed since the original publication in 8/2013.]