Several dozen Levelland students will have enough to eat this holiday weekend, thanks to the dedicated efforts of teachers and one church.
That is where Bill’s Backpacks comes in.
The program, which started at Levelland High School, ensures that students have enough to eat on the weekends – not just during the holidays.
The program has its origin in tragedy.
High School teacher Tracy Barker lost her only brother, Bill, when he committed suicide in 2010.
‘I needed something to kind of fill that hole,’ Barker said. ‘I just needed something to make it seem a little less pointless.’
When they were growing up, her brother was involved in ‘starve-a-thons’ in the 1970s in which you didn’t eat and raised money to help people in need.
‘I was the little kid that followed along,’ she said. ‘They did that when I was growing up.’
After her brother died, the history teacher took her love of kids, combined that with her concerns about them, and came up with the idea of sending food home for the weekends with students in need.