HEPHZIBAH, Ga. (WJBF)– Richmond County families got a chance to take home more than school supplies today. An event was put on by “Winning in Augusta,” a faith group that helps families who live in the southern part of the Garden City.
Several local churches teamed with Golden Harvest Food Bank to make sure Richmond County kids are not only physically prepared to learn, but also mentally prepared. This is the second year “Winning in Augusta” has helped local families, and the event organizer says it won’t be the last.
Countless Richmond County kids left Saturday’s event with not only full book bags, but also full bellies. With Richmond County schools starting up in one week, there are several “Back to School Bashes” happening around the city. But the event organizer, Richard Peoples, said this program, aimed to relieve South Augusta families, is different than the others.
“We would expand that, and not only give them school supplies, but give them food and clothing to ensure that kids have what they needed to get back in school and feel good about who they were,” Reverend Peoples said.
Eight thousand pounds of food was given to nearly 200 families. Eighteen hundred book bags, filled with supplies based on grade level, were also given out. Reverend People’s, Pastor of Faith Outreach Church, said the vision for this outreach hits close to home for him.
“I grew up in a small community in Alabama, and I saw a lot of struggle, so now that I’m in the Augusta area, I wanted to be part of a change,” Reverend Peoples said.
Richmond County Superintendent, Dr. Angela Pringle, said she sees first-hand the unfortunate situations some students face.
“People are not aware that we have over 280 homeless children, and I when I walked in today, I tell you, it was extremely emotional to see our community come behind our families,” Dr. Pringle explained.
Faith Outreach Church and Whole Life Ministries, along with 11 other local churches donated the supplies and volunteered at the event. Golden Harvest Food Bank provided a mobile pantry.
“A lot of our families coming through here today are families in need. They are struggling. This is a great opportunity, and I love the theme: “Winning in South Augusta. ” I believe it’s a win-win,” Travis McNeal, Executive Director of Golden Harvest Food Bank, said.
“We’re a country of abundance, and we’re a community of abundance. I think no child should be hungry, no child,” Dr. Pringle said.
Reverend Peoples said he plans for “Winning in Augusta” to host several other events throughout the school year. You can like their Facebook page “Winning in Augusta” to stay up to date.