Murfreesboro schools make sure students have Thanksgiving meals - WKRN News 2

Murfreesboro schools make sure students have Thanksgiving meals

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -

As students around Middle Tennessee pack up and head home for the Thanksgiving holiday, many face the prospect of not having enough food.

Since last year, the number of Murfreesboro City school children who are provided extra food for the weekend has increased by almost 100.

Lisa Trail, a spokesperson for city schools, said the "Backpack" program now feeds 260 kids for every Saturday and Sunday, compared to 165 at the end of the previous school year.

"Just finding out that there are children that go home hungry in our neighborhoods, every weekend? Yeah, that's kind of eye opening for lots of folks," said Trail.

Trail told Nashville's News 2 every week, volunteers pack bags full of essentials, like cereal, juice and a main meal and make sure students that are in need, have food for the weekend.

"For some kids, this is their lunch and dinner and breakfast on Saturday and Sunday," Trail explained.

With more kids than ever before on the "Backpack" program, the school system has had trouble keeping up with demand. They've already had to ask Second Harvest Food Bank for extra food twice this year.

Tuesday afternoon, volunteers with Oasis Church Murfreesboro stepped up to help students at Hobgood Elementary School.

Trail said Hobgood has the most students who participate in the "Backpack" program.

"We have a school that's high risk, about 90 to 94% free and reduced lunch," said Tammy Grizzard, Hobgood's principal, "Sometimes our students go through the weekend, the holidays, without something to eat."

Oasis church members gathered enough food to stock grocery bags full of goodies for every single Hobgood student, all 451 of them.

"We know that it'll help these families over this Thanksgiving holiday," Brian Hughes told Nashville's News 2.

Hughes is the pastor at the Murfreesboro location of Oasis Church, which also has campuses in Nashville and Hendersonville.

Church members and Hobgood students helped unload a truck and hand deliver each bag to the classrooms.

Oasis adopted Hobgood Elementary earlier this year as a way to give back to the community.

"This is something we're not only doing during the holidays, but hope to do on a regular basis, at least once a month," said Hughes.

Students knew about the donation and planned ahead, showing their appreciation with cards and loud thank-yous, as the bags were dropped off.

"It makes us very excited to know our students will have things to take them through the weekend until we see them again for breakfast again on Monday," said Grizzard.

Oasis also donated food to Carter Lawrence Elementary School in Nashville and to students at Whitten Elementary School in Hendersonville.

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