Subsidized lunch is a reality for many American school children.  But what happens when it’s Saturday and kids aren’t in school?  Five years ago when a St. Aidan’s parishioner realized that some of the children in his daughter’s middle school went hungry during the weekend, he didn’t just say, “Oh, isn’t that too bad?”  The Holy Spirit went to work in him, and Backpacks of Love, a food ministry to disadvantaged school children in North Fulton and Forsyth counties, was born.

From humble beginnings – 8 backpacks delivered to one school – Backpacks of Love has grown so that in just one delivery, 150 backpacks (about a ton and a half of food) are now provided to 17 area elementary, middle, and high schools every other week, allowing students to take home a backpack full of food for the weekend.  Since the ministry began, approximately 161,000 pounds of food packed into about 7,500 backpacks has been delivered.

On most Sundays during the school year, the narthex at St. Aidan’s is overflowing with backpacks—empty one Sunday, waiting to be picked up, filled and returned the next week. Parishioners sign up to help once or twice or all year long, doing their part to help a hungry family.  Backpacks of Love may have started because of the caring heart of one St. Aidan’s parishioner, but it is now an ecumenical ministry, supported by other churches and organizations throughout the area.