My latest Pay It Forward stop was at the United Methodist Church in Red Bank, the new home of The Backpack Crew!

Matt with The Backpack Crew

The Backpack Crew was started in October 2013 to help a local elementary school that has many families still struggling from devastation of Superstorm Sandy. Suzanne and Keith Dice wanted to help assist families in need of food.

They spoke with local schools to find out if they could send groceries home with children to supplement their meals throughout the weekend.

What started in their own Middletown home has no grown into a dedicated room at the United Methodist Church in Red Bank.

Families are assigned their own backpack that is delivered to the school filled with groceries every Friday. It then gets returned on Monday to be refilled.

photo: Matt Ryan

Two days worth of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks are provided in each backpack. To protect the privacy of the children and families, only the school nurse knows the identity of the participating families.

photo: Matt Ryan

I was honored to spend a morning with Suzanne, Keith, Cindy and Amy. Chelsea is The Backpack Crew's logo and creative artist who humbled me with this warm welcome.

photo: Matt Ryan
photo: Matt Ryan

The Backpack Crew was lucky enough to receive a pallet donation from Bumble Bee that we quickly unloaded.

photo: Suzanne Dice
photo: Suzanne Dice

To make a donation or for more information, go to www.backpackcrew.com and like their Facebook page.