Trimble Backpack Initiative

If you would like to donate to the Trimble Backpack Initiative, you can donate online here. (You will be directed to a page on how to create an account where you will see an option for this initiative.)

(Some of this information is taken from this Athens Messenger article from November 19, 2017)

Jared Butcher, a professor emeritus of chemistry from Ohio University, helped launched Trimble’s Pride Pack program at the start of the 2015-16 school year.  When he heard about food insecurity in Athens County, he wanted to do something about it.

“I thought, ‘We should have one of these in every school in the county,’” Butcher said. “I like the idea of feeding kids on the weekend.”

The project was a success, and became the pilot program for spreading the backpack program to other schools in the county. Nelsonville Food Cupboard now operates a backpack program for Nelsonville-York Local Schools. Athens City Schools and the Federal Hocking Local School District both operate school pantries, while the Alexander Local School District operates a similar program called “Blessings in a Backpack.”


Pictured here is a Kidpack, in the future, all of the backpacks will come this way. They will come in meat and meatless varieties.

The backpack program is a means for feeding children on the weekend.  A grocery bag containing six food items is given to students at school on Fridays.  The bag contains two breakfast items, two dinner items, and two snacks.

Athens County is one of the most impoverished in the state of Ohio, but this initiative has succeeded in alleviating some of the needs that are prevalent.

Because feeding people is an ongoing need, finding sources of funds for food is difficult.  We work in conjunction with the Foodbank to secure funding at least one year in advance.  This permits the Foodbank to shop for the best value with confidence.  Generally speaking, the Foodbank aims to get as much food into the home as possible. FUMC and the school want to keep the bags light enough for a child to carry, and soft enough to pose no threat.  (Plastic is used in place of metal cans where possible.)

We would welcome your participation in this program through any means you choose, whether financial or through prayers.

If you would like to donate to Athens First United Methodist Church’s Trimble Backpack Initiative, there are two ways that you can.  You can either send a check directly to Athens First United Methodist Church at 2 South College Street Athens OH 45701  or, you may donate online by clicking here. This page will ask you to create an account, but there will be a specific category for the Trimble Backpack Initiative.   All funds received designated to Trimble Backpack Initiative will go directly towards funding this ongoing project.   Thank you!  🙂