Q: I would like to donate or volunteer to help schoolchildren who need help with food during the summer months. Who can I get in touch with?

L.I.

Answer: One good way to help is through the Forsyth Backpack program.

According to Carol Templeton, president of the program, they are continuing to partner with the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Child Nutrition Department during the summer months to help provide “backpacks” of food for the weekends to approximately 500 to 550 children who come to select schools for “grab and go” meals.

“Prior to summer break, Forsyth Backpack was providing backpacks to approximately 1,000 children each week and we anticipate serving a similar number of children once school resumes,” Templeton said.

“Each backpack purchased from Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC at an approximate cost of $5 consists of two breakfasts and two lunches. The products are kid-friendly, nutritious, easily accessible by children as young as 5 and can be eaten with no cooking required.”

Due to the special requirements and safety concerns for their volunteers, monetary donations are the best way to help out and make a difference at this time, she said. Donations will be gratefully accepted via mail at Forsyth Backpack Program, 380-H Knollwood Street, Box 402, Winston-Salem, NC 27103 or by their web page at www.forsythbackpackprogram.org.

Another way to help is through H.O.P.E. of Winston-Salem, which needs help in food preparation and distributing meals to children. The mission of the group “is to use community-wide volunteer support to prepare and bring nutritious weekend meals to the thousands of children in Forsyth County who are at risk for hunger.”

You can find volunteer opportunities at hopews.org/covid-19/ and donation options at hopews.org/ways-to-help/donate/

And you can also check with Second Harvest Food Bank for other opportunities at www.secondharvestnwnc.org/

Q: What is the latest update on the reopening of Bethania Road between Old Town and Bethania?

A.W.

Answer: According to John Rhyne, division maintenance engineer for Division 9 of the N.C. Department of Transportation, they are waiting for approval to make the necessary purchase of materials.

The approval for purchases of this nature is made in Raleigh and is being reviewed and approved by the Chief Engineers staff, he said.

“We have completed the engineering work and environmental permits and have a plan to replace the pipe and accompanying drainage box to the north of the pipe,” he said. “At this point we have on hand the pipe but are awaiting permission to purchase the drainage box necessary to connect it all together.

“Unfortunately, due to all the heavy rains we have experienced in the recent months, we have several roads closed in similar fashion and are waiting on funds to make repairs

. At this point in our five-county area we have over 20 locations pending funding for repairs. Between the natural disasters we have seen in the last 12-24 months and the COVID economic downturn, the department has had to prioritize spending, and unfortunately many repairs have been delayed.”

As soon as they have approval to make the necessary purchases, Rhyne said, the DOT will begin work on Bethania Road and have it open as soon as possible.

Email: AskSAM@wsjournal.com

Online: journalnow.com/asksam

Write: Ask SAM, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101 

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