An example of the backpack full of food students receive through the BAG program. File photo

Federal Way youth leadership group to “Bag It Up” for a cause

  • Thursday, March 23, 2017 1:57pm
  • News

Advancing Leadership Youth, a leadership development program in Federal Way, is holding an event called “Bag It Up” on March 25. This event is in support of Bridging a Gap, or BAG, a local organization that provides backpacks full of food to local students over the weekends who otherwise may not have anything to eat.

“Over the weekends and during school holidays, hundreds of children in our community go home and do not have access to a reliable source of food until they return to school the following school day,” Valerie Danforth, the founder of the BAG program, explained. “The focus of our program is to replace the breakfast and lunches that these students would receive at school during a normal school week. Our organization works with the schools to identify those students who are most in need. Volunteers pack ordinary looking backpacks full of kid-friendly, easy to prepare foods, which are then distributed by the school to students in the program.

“We are so excited to be partnered with ALY this year and that they selected BAG for their project. Our biggest need right now is finding community partners for the schools so that we can continue to grow the program and help feed more hungry students in our community.”

The Bag It Up event, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 25 at the Overcomer Covenant Church will provide a chance for connecting potential partners with the BAG program, showcase other community organizations that provide assistance to the BAG program, and will also include vendors from many community service-minded organizations in the Federal Way area. The admission is free, and guests are encouraged to donate a non-perishable food item.

Advancing Leadership Youth is a nonprofit organization that focuses on connecting the youth with leaders in the community, and requires that the class collaborates on and completes a service project for a local organization.

This year the class chose the BAG program, and as Peter Smith, a student at Todd Beamer High School said, “As an ALY class, it was pretty easy to come to a consensus about which program would become our project for the remainder of the year. We all wanted our experience in ALY to be reflected upon with pride; a sense of accomplishment with our project that would not go unnoticed. I think it was because we are all high school students that we were drawn to the project that would have the most impact on OUR environment— the school setting. By choosing Bridging A Gap as our team project, we were simultaneously choosing to help our peers and other children in the district that are only different because they are a little less fortunate than us. It was all about making a difference that we would be able to physically SEE in the health and disposition of fellow students nearly everyday in our schools.”

The public is welcome to attend this worthwhile event.

For more information about the BAG event, contact Deanne Plunkett at 253-529- 7440 or email at

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