One Man’s Struggle Strengthens Cumberland

Published 12:19 pm Thursday, July 16, 2015

It’s amazing how we can easily turn our struggles into strength, not only to benefit ourselves, but others around us.

It may seem hard to fathom at first, but it is possible. And what’s even harder for some to understand is how to be appreciative and thankful for struggle.

It’s something that Bobby Fulcher has done, and it’s something that Cumberland’s children have reaped the benefits of.

Email newsletter signup

Fulcher and his wife, Brenda, are the founders of Backpacks of Love, or BPOL. The program’s mission is to reduce hunger in school-age boys and girls.

As a child, Fulcher struggled with not having enough food to eat at home. Many children across Cumberland County share this experience day in and day out. According to Cumberland County Public Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Amy Griffin, there is a great need for access to healthy food in our area. And we agree with her.

But, because of the Fulchers’ wonderful idea and BPOL’s great work, there aren’t as many who continue to experience hunger across Cumberland.

Not too long ago, a local church informed Fulcher that there was a great need in Cumberland’s schools. Thus, BPOL came to Cumberland.

We’re thankful for both the church that reached out to Fulcher and BPOL.

During the past school year, on a weekly basis, the program provided weekend meals for 90 Cumberland students.

Using the methodology of at least one meal per weekend for a 180-day school year per student, that equates to more than 3,200 meals provided.

The school’s administration and faculty identified the children in need and communicated to BPOL how many packs were needed at the beginning of the school year and throughout the year.

The BPOL team has cumulatively provided more than 19,000 backpacks and 115,000 meals since its founding in 2011.

We think that BPOL is certainly fulfilling its mission, and we certainly hope that the program will continue to grow in Cumberland.

The organization is also planning to expand next month into Buckingham County, where many students share the daily struggle with hunger. It’s our hope that the Fulchers will seriously consider spreading their love and strength into Prince Edward as well.

BPOL can only be as strong as the people who volunteer and the donations that it receives. We encourage you to help to continue turning struggle into strength in Cumberland by supporting this program. You can visit for more information, or call (804) 598-2723.

The strength of our youth not only depends on amazing programs such as BPOL, but on the generosity of all of us.

We’re appreciative and thankful for Bobby Fulcher’s struggle, because it’s strengthened all of our futures.