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 1,000 pre-K -5th grade children attending Blackshear and Spring Shadows elementary schools 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).


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)

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
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Kim Robinson, Associate Program Director
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Josh Condon, Rector, Holy Spirit Episcopal Church and School
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Nancy Ebanks, Fundraising Director
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Jennifer Guzman, Corporate Sponsor Liaison
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Linda Purvis, Logistics Director Blackshear Elementary
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Marty Chapman, Logistics Director Spring Shadows Elementary
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Kara McDuffie, Director of Finance
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Clair Silliman, Holy Spirit Community Liaison
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Suzy Spencer, Holy Spirit Episcopal School Liaison
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Contact us:
(281) 468-1227