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An example of the need in Southwest Virginia is given in below:

As most of you know the Bristol Virginia School System has six schools, Washington-Lee, Highland View, Stonewall Jackson and Van Pelt Elementary schools, Virginia Middle School and Virginia High School. BVPS, along with 10 other school divisions in Southwest Virginia, is working with Communities In Schools to help improve dropout rates. CIS is the number one dropout prevention program in the United States. The mission of Communities In Schools of SWVA is to “To surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life”. We do this by working within the schools and school system to provide students with all the services available by other agencies. Sadly, one of the things that many students need is food. Each of the Bristol Virginia schools has students that need assistance with food. Typically this assistance is backpacks or snack packs which are sent home with the students and in most cases this is done every other week.Currently, there are approximately 264 students needing this assistance. Fortunately several local churches have joined together to provide 175 of students with assistance. Unfortunately, because of the large number of students on free and reduced lunch, we still need help with approximately 75 students; most of these students attend Highland View. Communities In Schools of SWVA has worked with these churches to make these backpacks and snack packs as uniform as possible, plus sharing ideas such as which foods are the healthiest and sustain a student’s hunger the best. Because of the collaboration we believe a student can be fed twice a month through the program for between $10.00 and $15.00

The following is typical of what you may find in a backpack or snack pack;

Week 1
Juice Bags
Fruit Snacks
Snack Crackers
Canned Pasta
Peanut Butter
Ramen Nooddles
Breakfast Bars
Pop Tarts
Week 2
Juice Bags
Fruit Snacks
Snack Crackers
Canned Tuna or Chicken
Canned Fruit
Nutragrain Bar
udding Cups

We would ask that you consider how you might like to help, whether it be obtaining the food and putting the food items together or making a one time or monthly contribution. As it has been proven time and time again, if a student is hungry, they disengage themselves from the educational process, which leads to struggles, followed, in some cases, by a student leaving school altogether.

If you have any questions or you or your organization would like more information about the program or Communities In Schools of Southwest Virginia please feel free to give me a call.


Deborah Wagner
Executive Director
Communities In Schools of Southwest Virginia
220 Lee Street
Bristol, Virginia 24201


Communities In Schools of Southwest Virginia is 501 (c) organization and all contributors receive an official tax receipt issued by CIS of SWVA as part of its tax exempt, non-profit IRS designation