Bath Area BackPack Program gains independent 501C3 non-profit status

The Bath Area BackPack Program was recently granted independent non-profit status. The program started three years ago with a modest goal of feeding 10 students at Dike Newell School.  It has grown to feeding up to 120 students at five area schools that, in addition to Dike Newell, include Fisher Mitchell, Phippsburg and West Bath Elementary Schools and maintains food pantries at the Bath Middle and Phippsburg Schools. This growth would not have been possible without the support of local individuals and business who pledged to fund the start-up in 2014.  Nor would it have been possible without the 20 initial volunteers, whose ranks now number over 60. Food for the backpack bags is supplied by the Good Shepherd Food Bank in Auburn, Maine and local grocers where food for the school pantries is purchased.
The Bath Area BackPack Program owes an immense debt of gratitude to the Bath United Methodist Church for providing the vision for feeding needy hungry children in the Bath Schools on weekends and for providing the umbrella 501C3 not-for-profit status under which the program was founded. After much effort by the Board of Directors to adopt by-laws and the patience and persistence of board members and program founders (Cathy Leonard, Brenda Ouellette, Irving Ouellette and Letty Race) the Bath Area BackPack Program was recently granted independent non-profit status by the Internal Revenue Service. Having independent, community based non-profit status will enable a broader base of financial support.

Maine Hosting Solutions of Bath generously created and hosts the Bath Area BackPack Program’s website (www.bathbackpack.org) through which donations can be accepted through PayPal. The BABPP is on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/BathBackPackProgram/). Persons interested in volunteering should contact Volunteer Coordinator, Brenda Ouellette at 802-673-2759 or the school principal at any of the participating schools for more information.

Bath area citizens and businesses interested in joining the growing team of BABPP community partners, should contact Irving Ouellette, Fundraising Chair at 207-729-3089 or Pamela Cox, BABPP Chairperson at 207-386-1358 for more information about the BackPack Program or to arrange for a meeting or presentation about the program.
The backpack program brings excitement to students and myself- it has a direct and significant
impact in reducing the very real issue of food insecurity that I observe daily for some students.
– Allison Cosgrove, School Counselor

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