N.E.W. Backpack Buddies is to provide food to hungry children in our region and to enrich their lives by giving them a greater opportunity for growth, learning, and development.

Typical weekend bag contents

  • 1 large canned entree; chef boyardee, hearty soup
  • 2 small canned protein; beanie weenie, beef stew
  • 1 mac and cheese individual serving
  • 1 ramen noddles individual serving
  • 2 cereal boxes; individual servings
  • 1 instant oatmeal
  • 1 bar
  • 1 fruit cup
  • 1 applesauce
  • 1 sweet snack; poptarts, raisins
  • 1 salty snack; pretzles, goldfish
  • 1 protein snack; Lance crackers, individual serving of peanut butter
  • 2 fresh produce
  • **15oz jars of peanut butter are sent home every six weeks

Board members

  • Kelley Barnes (President)
  • Robin Brannigan
  • Jessica Menas
  • Linda Thornton
  • Michelle Peck
  • Jodi Freudig
  • Natalie Garrett
  • Kristi French


Backpack Buddies was started in 2006, as a youth mission at Rolesville Baptist Church. Jeff Pethel was the youth minister and had seen a young child in a convenience store scraping money together to eat a meal. His mission grew quickly due to his compassion and dedication.

In September 2011, North East Wake Backpack Buddies developed into a 501(c)3 non-profit organization separate from the church.

Student Board

High school students from across Wake County have joined together to form a student board. They dedicate their time to develop fundraising opportunities, help with packing bags, and promoting us through social media.

Recent Photos

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