Programs for Children

Programs for Children

The SNACK! Program: First Summer Food Program for School Children in Chatham County

Did you know that 50% of public school children in Chatham County receive free or low cost meals (breakfast and lunch) through the federal school lunch program because their family income is at or near poverty level? That’s more than 4000 Chatham County school children who will likely not have adequate replacements for these meals during the summer. Because Chatham is a large rural county (709 square miles) with scant public transportation, federal programs that require serving prepared meals at a central location are not practical here in the summer for the families of these kids. A new kind of program was needed to better ensure accessibility and to better address the transportation difficulties of those families who needed services.  CORA Food Pantry created SNACK! (Summer Nutritional  Assistance for Chatham Kids) in 2009 to address these challenges and to help assure adequate nutrition year-round for these disadvantaged children. (Read more . . . )

 The Backpack Support Program

Backpack programs are locally organized, independent grassroots programs that provide meals to disadvantaged school children on weekends and holidays during the school year. 50% of Chatham County school children receive federally subsidized meals at school making them eligible for Backpack programs. CORA does not run a backpack program but provides financial and technical support for eleven Backpack programs in the county. (Read more . . . )

The Birthday Closet

Every child should be able to celebrate a birthday. When clients come through our pantry, a CORA volunteer asks if there is a child in the family that has a birthday in the current month. If “yes,” the client is introduced to CORA’s special “Birthday Closet” stocked with gift bags full of supplies and treats for a small birthday party. Clients can choose a Birthday Bag that is age- and gender-appropriate for the birthday child. (Click here to find out more and to learn how you can contribute Birthday Bags to CORA.)


Next: Helping Clients Return to Self-Sufficiency

Back to “Why Is CORA Special?” . . .