Loudoun Now – Dulles South Back Pack Buddies Program Gets Infusion of Funds

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The Dulles South Food Pantry recently received an infusion of funds that helped provide weekend meals to children in need.

Jagadeesh Putchala, the owner of Children’s Lighthouse Early Learning School in Chantilly donated $1,800 to the pantry to provide weekend meals for 240 children who participate in the pantry’s backpack buddies program.

DSFP Executive Director Karen Ergenbright said the donation was a great help.

She said each back pack bag contains breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as shelf stable drinks and snacks for the weekend and costs about $9 to make. Ergenbright said they support 21 schools with their backpack program and serve 250 families each week in addition to providing weekend meals to hundreds of students.

She said the increasing cost of food has led to more people needing assistance.

“Jagadeesh was so sweet when he contacted us and said he wanted to give us a donation,” she said. “He really helped us out a lot with his donation.”

She said he learned about the need through a school newsletter and called and told her children were “near and dear” to his heart and that he wanted to help.

Children’s Lighthouse opened earlier this year and provides daycare for kids from six weeks to two years old as well as preschool for kids aged two to five and after school care for kids in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Putchala, a Loudoun resident for 15 years said it’s just “a drop in the bucket” but he wanted to give back to the community.

“I feel like I’m in a position that I am comfortable right now and I have seen adversity at many stages of my life and have experienced adversity myself and this is one little way to help,” he said.

In addition to helping the local food pantry, Putchala has been making connections with all of the schools in the Dulles South area.

He sponsored a teacher breakfast at one area elementary school with plans to provide breakfast for teachers at all five elementary schools.

“I’ve lived in South Riding for 15 years and I wanted to make an impact here. This is one of the ways I’m trying to give back and say, ‘thank you’ to the community that fostered me and my children,” he said.

The Children’s Lighthouse brand was established in 1997 in Texas. It focuses on values based early learning and promises a safe, fun and happy place to learn and grow, according to its website.

To learn more visit childrenslighthouse.com.

To learn more about the Dulles South Food Pantry or to donate visit dsfp.org.

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