Mountain Brook Elementary gears up to fight hunger this Valentine’s Day

VdayMOUNTAIN BROOK, Alabama — This month, Mountain Brook Elementary will be all about spreading some love.

For the second year in a row, the school will take part in a Valentine’s Day card sales event set to benefit the local “Backpack Buddies” program.

Amy Nunneley, one of the event’s co-chairs, said the Valentine’s Day cards being sold are in full-color and were designed by Martha Ann Livingston, a Mountain Brook resident and co-owner of Little Birds ETC & Flora Belle Designs.

Proceeds from the sale of the cards will help provide nutritious and easy-to-prepare food for children ages 5-12 who do not have enough food at home.

Many, if not all, of the children who benefit from the “Backpack Buddies” program are enrolled in programs that offer free or reduced lunch at school. Often times, the meals they receive at school are the only meals they have access to.

When it comes to weekends or school holidays, those children often go hungry.

“We make sure we have two lunches, and we have two breakfasts,” Backpack Buddies Program Director Stephanie Grissom said in an interview with NPR. “And then it all goes in a bag. And … we want it to be discreet. It’s not labeled, and they can’t see through it.”

The meal packs are then delivered to elementary and middle schools across Alabama, where they are handed over to school counselors who ensure they head home with children in need every Friday.

Across Shelby County and Alabaster Schools, the program helps 506 hungry school children weekly.

MBE parents should expect order forms to head home with their children early this month.

The Valentine’s Day cards will be available as a class packet (22 for $20) or as individual cards (1 for $1).

Parents and children are encouraged to personalize the cards–perhaps even add a sweet treat–and help spread the love come Valentine’s Day both near and far.

Shaun Flynn and Carol Ann Phillips are also co-chairs of the event.

For more information about Backpack Buddies and tips on how to help, click here.