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Local ministry helps to fight hunger

By: Grace Braswell

For some kids, obtaining food is not as easy as just a walk to the kitchen. Volunteers at Good Sam Ministries know that child hunger is a painful reality in Troup County, and the nonprofit is working hard to end this ongoing problem. 

Good Sam Ministries discretely gives children in low income families food to eat when not in school. Members of the organization are able to get in touch with school counselors in the area to get an idea of who needs food and how many bags to pack. 

“We partner with every school in Troup County,” said Lee Holmes, director of Good Sam Ministries. “The school counselors tell us how many bags we need to pack, and we make sure to get them there.” 

The bags are packed monthly, feeding close to 300 students in the area who are in need through their “backpack buddy” program. The bags are packed through an assembly line of volunteers from more than 10 churches and organizations in the community. The volunteers meet to pack at Shoals Creek Baptist, where volunteers are able to fill over 1,000 bags of canned or nonperishable goods each month. 

Good Sam Ministries partners with Feeding the Valley, a nonprofit that gives the ministry nonperishable food at a very discounted price. 

“Without the help of Feeding the Valley, we would not be able to do what we do,” Holmes said. “Because we are a nonprofit, the store doesn’t have a problem donating to our cause.” 

Volunteers are able to deliver the bags to schools once a week. The school then takes the food bags to the counselors who discretely put the food bags into backpacks of kids in need. 

Good Sam Ministries plans to start special holiday projects around Christmas and Thanksgiving next year. Holmes said that he and his team will be discussing future plans for the organization in the next few months. 

To get involved or become a volunteer for the ministry, visit Goodsamministry.com.