Greensboro Opera donates to Backpack Beginnings

Parker White, left, founder and director of Backpack Beginnings, and David Holley, general and artistic director of Greensboro Opera, pose with a large check that the nonprofit opera company presented to the program that distributes food to children. The opera company donated $5,000 to BackPack Beginnings.

GREENSBORO — Greensboro Opera has addressed hunger by donating $5,000 to Backpack Beginnings, to provide free food for hungry children during the summer.

Founded and directed by Parker White, Backpack Beginnings distributes food bags to children in critical need.

Greensboro Opera is a nonprofit arts organization that is usually seeking funds for its own operation at this time of year.

This is not an ordinary time.

With schools closed by the coronavirus pandemic, access to enough nutritious food has been compromised for many students.

These are some of the same Guilford County Schools students that Greensboro Opera engages through its Opera at the Carolina program, which brings the art form to the Carolina Theatre for fifth graders each year.

Greensboro Opera said it looks looks forward to welcoming students to Opera at the Carolina in the coming year.

White expressed her gratitude to Greensboro Opera. 

"This donation will allow us to provide much needed food to 875 families this summer," White said.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Backpack Beginnings has seen an unprecedented need for its food programs during the spring and summer, White said. It expects that elevated level to continue throughout the 2020-21 school year.

"Food insecurity across North Carolina has increased from 12.9% prior to COVID-19 to 24% post COVID-19," White said. "Community assistance, such as Greensboro Opera's, allows us to meet the extensive need in the Guilford County area."

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