Food drive organized for kids at Chambers County school

Published 10:59 am Tuesday, April 26, 2022

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Barbie Belcher knew she had to do something when she found out that some students were arriving at a local school hungry. Now, she’s doing her part to help. Belcher, who said she was told that students are arriving hungry at a local school on the outskirts of Chambers County, has organized a local food drive.

Donations are being accepted until May 22 at World Finance in Valley across from Walmart, Estes Express in Cusseta and Gran D’s Country Kitchen in LaFayette.

The school, which Belcher said she wouldn’t name, has asked for the food to be delivered by May 23. Belcher’s brother-in-law Jeff Blackstone, a candidate for sheriff, is also helping to organize the drive.

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“The last day of school is like the 26th, and they wanted it by then so they had plenty of time to get it packed up and prepared to send it home with the children,” Belcher said.

According to Belcher, the principal at the school had told Blackstone that some of the children there lacked proper shoes and jackets — Belcher noted it was still chilly at the time — and that the school was sending food home with students in need.

“They didn’t have enough food,” Belcher said. “And my first thought was, ‘Well why don’t they have food in this day and time? I mean, there’s all kinds of assistance they can get.’ And then I said, ‘Well, I’m not going to be judgmental. I’m just going to do what I can to help.’”

Belcher and Blackstone recommend donating nonperishable food that doesn’t need to be cooked such as Vienna sausages, chips, crackers, granola bars, fruit cups, etc.

“Pop-Tarts,” Belcher added. “You know, it may not be the most nutritious thing in the world, but if they’ve got some food in their bellies and they’re not hungry, that’s better than nothing.”

Belcher said she wasn’t sure about the living situations of the students but recommended donating items the students could handle without adult assistance.

Belcher said her sister and family are helping with the food drive.

“We’re praying that the Facebook community will really help get it out, too,” she said.

World Finance is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EDT and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until noon EDT. Estes Express lines is open weekdays from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. CDT. Gran D’s Country Kitchen is open weekdays from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. CDT and on Saturday from 6 a.m. until 11 a.m. CDT.

“We appreciate any help that’s coming in,” Belcher said. “We have no ties to the school. Just the fact that there’s some kids over there that need help, so we want to jump up and get it done, and any help from the community would be a huge blessing.”