Above and beyond: Backpack Blessings

An organization called Mission Fire Fly started a food donating project called BackPack Blessings. Their goal is to feed children who may not have much to eat at home.

Eight year old Mahaley Brock is one of the many Hazel Green students given food to take home on a weekly basis.

"We take them home so we could eat them over the weekends if we're really hungry and we don't have any food," she said

She receives items like macaroni, chips and chocolate bars, which she says are her favorite.

One of the organizers, Jenda Hillis is a Special Education Preschool teacher at Hazel Green elementary. Mission Fire Fly, a group of volunteers from First Baptist Church of Hazel Green and First Baptist Church of Meridianville, came together to help those in need internationally.

They do mission work with a small village overseas, but wanted to help with issues here at home. Hillis says the group began working with six to eight schools in the local community.

Group members ask counselors to select the students who may need help. 30 to 40 bags are packed up with goodies and nutritious items and then dropped off. The bags are then distributed to the students to put in their back packs every Friday.

"I see students that struggle in the school day because they don't have what they need as far as food and rest and things like that and so it made us think what we can do to help them," said Hillis.

Mahaley's mom, Nicky, says it's hard to always have a house full of food with a family of six living off one income. Nicky learned about the program through one of the local churches when the kids came home with a flyer. She says BackPack Blessings is a blessing in disguise.

"It's hard, you know the money sometimes is just not there and sometimes we have to sacrifice paying half of a bill just to make up for the other things that we need," she said

For more information on BackPack Blessings and Mission Fire Fly, log onto their web site at www.missionfirefly.org.

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