• Spring 2008: A concerned mother at Overton Elementary and First Presbyterian Church started the “Backpack Buddies” program to serve twelve children weekend meals
  • Fall 2008: Rowan Helping Ministries joined in the effort to act as fiscal agent
    • The program was awarded its first grant from the Salisbury Community Foundation
  • Fall 2009: “Backpack Buddies” grew
    • St. Luke's Episcopal Church became the permanent fiscal agent
    • An official Board of Directors and by-laws for operation were created
    • The registered domain name “Food for Thought” was established
    • Provided meals to children at two area schools, serving a total of 50 students
  • 2010-2011 School Year:
    • Served 125 students at six schools
    • Grew community support via local foundations and individual contributions
    • Hired the first executive director, Mrs. Amy Goodnight, a former educator with experience in disadvantaged communities
  • 2012-2013 School Year:
    • Fed over 200 children in ten schools
    • A pilot program to serve 6th graders at Knox Middle School was successfully implemented that year
    • Obtained 501(c)3 status as a not-for profit organization
  • 2013-2014 School Year:
    • Hired Ms. Tory Curran, a trained social worker, as second Executive Director
    • Served 249 children in ten elementary schools and four middle schools in Rowan County
  • 2014-2015 School Year:
    • Expanded services into sixteen schools as well as secured funds for healthier options for backpacks
    • In March 2015 Carol Herndon was appointed as the new Executive Director of FFT. Carol held various executive leadership roles for the Food Lion/Delhaize America Corporations before retiring in 2011.
  • Today:
    • Starting the 2015-2016 school year with plans to distribute over 1,500 backpacks per month to children at 17 schools
      • Strategic plan supports explosive program growth
      • At least 500 bags each week by the end of October 2015
      • Supporting at least 20 schools
    • Exploring sources for nutritional partnerships in the community
    • Increasing awareness of FFT in the community
      • Developing an introductory video to FFT program
      • Sharing FFT story to civic groups and all Rowan Salisbury schools
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