Who will feed the kids this weekend?

About Bayou City Blessings

Bayou City Blessings in a Backpack, launched by the Holy Spirit Episcopal community in 2012, provides weekend food to children in the greater Houston area who are at risk of going hungry.  Bayou City Blessings currently provides 1,300 pre-K -12th grade students attending Blackshear (Third Ward), Spring Shadows (North Spring Branch), Foerster (Southwest Houston), and Grissom (Southwest Houston) elementary schools, as well as Stratford High School with weekend food bags for the 38 weeks of school to help bridge the gap between Friday lunch and Monday breakfast.  Blackshear Elementary, in the heart of Houston’s 3rd ward, is located in a “food desert,” defined by the USDA as having little to no access to fresh food or grocery stores.  Spring Shadows’ neighborhood is considered a “food insecure” area,
making it difficult for families to access the resources necessary to
provide consistent food options for their children.

Bayou City Blessings is a local program of the national charitable organization,
Blessings in a Backpack (blessingsinabackpack.org).


Bayou City Blessings Advisory Board

Melissa Peter, Program Director
Bayou City Blessings Chapter Founder

Melissa is a speech-language pathologist and worked for 15 years in the Spring Branch Independent School District, helping to develop a classroom-based intervention model.  In 2012, after learning more about “food deserts” and the food insecurity that many of our Houston children face every day, Melissa continued her educational partnership with local schools and with Holy Spirit Episcopal Church and School, started Bayou City Blessings in a Backpack, a local program of the national charitable organization, Blessings in a Backpack.   Starting in 2012 with 60 children at Blackshear Elementary and 10 children at Spring Shadows Elementary, the program has grown to currently serve 1,000 children in the two schools, assembling and delivering weekend food packs to each child every Friday during the 38 weeks of school.  Melissa and husband, Kevin, have been married almost 25 years and have three boys:  Jacob (20), Caston (17) and Grayson (15).

Kevin Peter, Program Director
Email Kevin

Kim Robinson, Associate Program Director
Email Kim

Josh Condon, Rector, Holy Spirit Episcopal Church and School
Email Josh

Mike Fiuzat, Director of Strategic Planning
Email Mike

Jennifer Guzman, Corporate Sponsor Liaison
Email Jennifer

Linda Purvis, Logistics Director Blackshear Elementary
Email Linda

Marty Chapman, Logistics Director Spring Shadows Elementary
Email Marty

Cheryl Tyler, Logistics Director Grissom, Foerster, and Montegomery Elementary Schools
Email Cheryl

Kara McDuffie, Director of Finance
Email Kara

Clair Silliman, Holy Spirit Community Liaison
Email Clair

Suzy Spencer, Holy Spirit Episcopal School Liaison
Email Suzy

Youth Advisory Board 2018-2019

Abigail Davis Will Haney Joel Hickey
Matthew Howell Julia Kelly Marshall McDuffie
K. Grayson Peter Nathan Purvis Karsen Spencer
Andrew Wood  

Contact us:
(281) 468-1227

Meet Melissa Peter, Program Coordinator, supporting Blessings in a Backpack programs at Blackshear and Spring Shadows Elementary Schools in Houston, Texas. We asked Melissa . . .

How long have you been a program coordinator for Blessings in a Backpack?
This is my 6th year serving as the program coordinator at Blackshear and Spring Shadows Elementary Schools.

How did you become involved with Blessings in a Backpack?
On November 11, 2011, I learned of food deserts in Houston and the challenges many families faced in accessing groceries. I felt an immediate call to action, but it wasn’t until I read a People Magazine’s article (February 2012) about Blessings in a Backpack, that I knew how I could make a difference in my community. (read more)

Immediate Release

Monday, September 24, 2018

The Generosity of Houstonians is Unmatched

Bayou City Blessings Announces Expansion into Southwest Houston

Now serving 1300 Houstonian kids every week

Memorial— Monday, September 24, 2018Friday, during the first Advisory board meeting of the year, Bayou City Blessings in a Backpack (BCB) announced immediate expansion of its program into Southwest Houston. BCB, provides weekend food to Houstonian kids who are at risk of being hungry while away from school, whether that is over the weekend, or a school holiday.  “It is directly due to the generosity of Houstonians that we can expand and welcome an additional two schools and 125 children into our program,” Clair Silliman, Board Member.  The Southwest Houston chapter of Blessings in a Backpack started in 2014 with 80 kids.  Program Coordinator Cheryl Tyler and her husband Lloyd started the program in their home and currently pack food in their garage.  Having personally experienced food insecurity, Cheryl was determined to make a difference in the lives of the children who live around her.  She has done just that.  “We are thrilled to invite Cheryl and the schools she serves into our program and work together to build the volunteer capacity in Southwest Houston to hopefully grow these programs,” Melissa Peter, Program Coordinator. Cheryl will serve on the BCB Advisory Board as well as continue to coordinate efforts in the Southwest Houston region.

Positive Impact & Growth

The Bayou City Blessings chapter of Blessings in a Backpack launched in 2012 serving 60 kids and has grown to 1300 in less than 6 years.  It serves the entire school populations of Blackshear (Third Ward) and Spring Shadows (North Spring Branch) Elementary schools, as well as 15 students at Stratford High School.  “Since our program has met its first goal of feeding the entirety of our first two elementary schools, we have decided to grow and look to how we can impact more children in Houston.  Welcoming the Southwest Houston Chapter into our program is a natural expansion,” Kim Robinson, Assistant Program Coordinator.  Bayou City Blessings will now include Foerster and Grissom Elementary schools in Southwest Houston. “It is important to Bayou City Blessings to serve as a partner to the schools and their administrations. We feed hearts, minds, and bellies,” Melissa Peter, Program Coordinator. “Thank you, Houston, for your support. Your donations and time are what allow us to grow and serve more children each week,” Mike Fiuzat, Board Member.

For more information or for the formal press release click here.