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Backpack Buddies DonationPaige Williamson, Toombs County Family Connection Director, shakes hands with Alan Kent, Meadows Regional Medical Center President & CEO, after receiving $1,000 for the Backpack Buddies Program.

August8--  Meadows Regional Medical Center recently donated $1,000 to the Toombs County Family Connection Backpack Buddies Program. The donation will provide weekend food for 100 students county-wide.

The program, which began in 2015, began because of a plea for weekend food for local students. That year 30 students were served within the Toombs County School System. The following year, the program expanded to include Vidalia City Schools, aiding a total of 88 students. At the end of the 2017-2018 school year, a total of 100 students were served.

“In the last three years, we have watched financial support from the community grow in direct proportion to the growing need for weekend food for children. This program is completely funded by our community,” said Paige Williamson, Toombs County Family Connection Director. “With the hospital's kind and generous donation, we are well on our way to meeting this year’s goal.”

“Meadows is honored to be a part of the Toombs County Family Connection’s mission to provide for students in our community,” said Meadows Regional Medical Center President & CEO, Alan Kent. “This program significantly impacts the overall health of our students. Good nutrition is key to good health.”

Toombs County Family Connection works closely with schools and community members to make sure the program for students is sustained. School counselors identify students with the greatest need, and Toombs County Family Connection coordinates delivery, pickup, and payment. “Our local BI-LO staff does a wonderful job of filling our order for the best and lowest prices,” Williamson said. “Typically, one bag of weekend food costs between $2.50 and $3. To run the program for 100 students for the whole school year, we will need roughly $9000.”

The Toombs Co. Family Connection's fiscal agent is the Toombs County Board of Education. Those interested in donating to the Backpack Buddies Program can contact Williamson at 912-245-2542.

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