With a problem as important as local childhood hunger, employees of BB&T knew they had to do something to fight it.
BB&T employees from Moundsville, Glen Dale and Cameron have been stuffing bags with pepperoni rolls, servings of ravioli, fruits, apple sauce, cheese and crackers and treats to hand out to the students of McNinch, Glen Dale and Cameron elementary schools whose families may not be able to afford nutritious food.
The "brown bags" are discreetly given to the students on Fridays with enough food in each package to last through the weekend.
"There are many times our kids are hungry on the weekends and they eat heartily on Monday, because you know they didn't eat that weekend," said Susie Baker of the Parent Educator Resource Center. "BB&T gives us about 65 bags at McNinch, but we could easily double that."
According to Leigh Ann Scherich, vice president of BB&T Moundsville, the project was funded by the bank's nationwide Lighthouse Project, which provided the local branch $1,900 to fund 475 brown bags.
"We are feeding 97 children every Friday," Scherich said. "It feels good to help. We would like to something like this again in the future. It's really rewarding."
Scherich noted the project was only funded to provide five weeks worth of meals and encouraged others in the community to be aware of the large number of children going hungry in the local area.
Baker said she hopes to expand the program to provide additional items for children in need.
"I hope maybe someone will offer blankets in the winter, because some students don't have heat," Baker said. "To add things like that would be a dream come true. There is a huge need."