Louisville woman honored as a ‘warrior for kids’ for helping provide meals during pandemic

Louisville woman honored as a ‘warrior for kids’ for helping provide meals during pandemic

Story by Alex Durham, via WLKY.com.

Dozens of Louisvillians are being honored by Blessings in a Backpack as warriors for kids during the pandemic.

The initiative recognizes people who have helped provide meals and brought joy to kids during uncertain times. Regina Jackson-Willis was nominated. She is the family resource coordinator at Engelhard Elementary School.

Jackson-Willis oversees the school’s Blessings in a Backpack Program, a national nonprofit headquartered in Louisville. She raises funds, organizes volunteers and plans food distribution. The nonprofit provides food on the weekends to elementary students who otherwise might go hungry.

“Until you talk to a kid who has been hungry, once you hear it, it permeates your heart and stays with you forever,” said Jackson-Willis.

Even though school hasn’t been in session since March, Jackson-Willis has gone above and beyond to make sure her students are taken care of.

The person who nominated her wrote, in part, “Regina is a true warrior for kids. Not only does she make sure every child in her school gets Blessings on Friday, she takes care of their other needs such as clothing, toiletries, a place to live or sleep, and any other resources the kids and their families may need.”

All of Engelhard Elementary School, which is more than 300 students, qualifies for the food assistance program. More than 100 warriors, like Jackson-Willis, have been nominated to be recognized.

Blessings in a Backpack is partnering with the Spartan Kids Foundation to launch the nationwide Warrior for Kids search. For every entry, the Spartan Kids Foundation will donate $25 to help feed hungry children, up to $25,000.

The overall winner will win a $1,000 Amazon gift card and their nominator will win a prize package from Vera Bradley.

Blessing in a Backpack currently feeds more than 88,000 children in 1,092 schools across 46 states and the District of Columbia. According to the organization, there are more than 18 million in the United States who are at risk of hunger.

If you’d like to nominate yourself or someone else, click here.