The United Way of Greater Greensboro’s annual “MeaningFULL meals” program is taking on a new meaning this year since the local economy has been ransacked by the coronavirus pandemic.

The organization is attempting to motivate people throughout the community in July to support the program that, in partnership with BackPack Beginnings and The Volunteer Center of the Triad, helps feed school-aged children in need.

Things haven’t been this tough financially on many families in the seven years since the MeaningFULL Meals program began. The nutrition project seeks food donations each summer to help feed school children from needy families while school’s out for summer. During the school year, Guilford County Schools does a lot to see that those kids get fed, and the United Way wants to make sure they get healthy meals during the summer months.

BackPack Beginnings got into the act five years ago and that organization gives out the food to children and families in the community. The organization is asking people to fill boxes with donated food items and drop them off at BackPack Beginnings at 3707-D Alliance Drive in Greensboro or at other drop-off points online. BackPack Beginnings office hours are listed at

Printable flyers with a list of needed items can be found at

Michael Cottingham, vice president of marketing and communications for United Way of Greater Greensboro, said in a press release promoting the initiative that it’s more important this year than ever to take part.

“As our community continues to seek justice, peace and equality while additionally addressing the needs of people impacted by Coronavirus, we must also work together to make sure local children have the food they need throughout summer,” he stated. “Hosting a creative food drive, or simply raiding your cabinet is a safe and easy way to make a big difference.”

Parker White, the founder and volunteer executive director of Backpack Beginnings, also commented on the importance of MeaningFULL meals right now.

“BackPack Beginnings is grateful for United Way of Greater Greensboro’s and The Volunteer Center of the Triad’s continued support of our feeding programs through MeaningFULL Meals,” White stated. “Due to COVID-19, we have seen an unprecedented need for our food programs this Spring, and we anticipate this elevated level to continue throughout the summer and into the 2020/21 school year.”