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At Rise Against Hunger, our staff members are frequently asked if our organization’s programs support kids here in the U.S. At our Orlando location, our staff members worked to create a way for volunteers — often youth volunteers — in their local area to support kids around the globe and in their local community.

Jason Haulbrook, Rise Against Hunger’s Florida Central Distribution Warehouse Manager, began working with the organization in 2015 as our Orlando Community Engagement Coordinator, and later worked as the Assistant Community Engagement Coordinator at that location.

Jason shares, “I have always had a heart for serving others. Rise Against Hunger has given me the opportunity to turn my passions into a career. I had been working in the for-profit world for several years and when I finally decided to close that chapter of my life, I was fortunate to quickly learn about Rise Against Hunger and even more fortunate to be given an opportunity with the organization.”

The backpack program is one that Jason has shown passion for over the years, sparked in part by his experiences as a father.

“My wife is a local teacher and we have a son who is in elementary school,” Jason says. “We see firsthand the need that exists in our schools. I have also visited schools around the world and have seen how much of a need there truly is. This initiative offers a real response to a very real need.”

So how does the backpack program work? Jason explains, “Our backpack initiative works much like our Rise Against Hunger Experience meal packaging events. We create an assembly line of empty backpacks and school supplies, and volunteers fill the backpacks with the required supplies. Event hosts have the option of donating the backpacks to local schools in need, or to be sent to our school feeding programs internationally. This allows hosts to contribute to both a global need and a local need as well.”

This month, you have the unique opportunity to provide a backpack for kids in need in countries we serve around the globe through our Backpacks & Bright Futures initiative. A donation of just $25 will provide a child with a backpack full of new school supplies, along with ongoing support for the journey ahead.

As for Jason, he hopes to create a brighter future for communities worldwide through his role at Rise Against Hunger.

He shares, “I hope to continue to contribute to our mission of seeing an end to hunger in as many ways as I can,” he says. “I would love to see our backpack initiative expand to other states, and continue to develop into a viable way we provide aid to communities and students in need.”

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