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The Love in a Backpack Ministry began at St. Mark by the Sea in 2013 when packages of weekend food were delivered to 30 children at one Flagler County elementary school.  This Ministry has steadily grown since then, and for the 2017-2018 school year we provided weekend food packages to almost 200 eligible children. 

Through our Love in a Backpack Ministry, weekend food packages are anonymously delivered to 166 eligible elementary school age children in Flagler County.   Eligibility is determined when the child’s family meets the Federal Government’s definition of a Family in Transition “(Homeless). “  Personnel at the Flagler County Office of Student and Community Engagement direct us to deliver the designated number of food packages to specific elementary schools each week during the school year.

 This school year, after meeting with the District Liaison for Families in Transition (FIT), 21 eligible middle school children were identified to be in need of this program.  The result: St Mark by the Sea now supports a pilot program (HUGS), for 21 eligible children at Buddy Taylor Middle School. Administration of this new Ministry, (food acquisition, funding basis & volunteers) has been integrated with Love in a Backpack.

St Mark by the Sea’s financial response to our “Adopt-A-Child” fund raising  has enabled us to meet our “children served goals,” plus improve the nutritional value of the food. Members of St Mark by the Sea dedicate hours every week to purchase food, keep inventory, maintain the LIAB/HUG Budget, pack food and deliver the packages to designated schools.  The congregation’s caring commitment, weekly food donations, financial support, volunteer hours, and prayers has been pivotal to the success of the Love in a Backpack and HUGS Ministries.  To learn more, contact Karen Andrews, Tel: (386) 682-5222.