The BackPack Program
The BackPack program provides more than 4,500 kids in need with a supply of easy-open, nutritious food for the weekend.
One in four children in our area struggle with hunger. These children often receive free meals during the week at school lunches or after school programs. But over the weekend, many of these children don’t get enough to eat. You can provide a local child in need with food for the weekend for $20/ month!
The Pantry Packs program provides local middle- and high-school children with a supply of weekend food and basic hygiene items.
Middle- and high-schoolers struggling with hunger also face the “weekend meal gap” when school meals are not available. Good nutrition is crucial for these teens as they prepare for college and the workforce. You can provide a local teen with a weekly supply of weekend food and much-needed hygiene items for $8/month.
More about this program
Golden Harvest Food Bank bridges the “weekend meal gap” with our BackPack and Pantry Packs programs. Both programs provide hungry children with weekend meal packs to help fill the place of the free school meals available during the week. Golden Harvest provides the meals packs and transports them to participating schools. Each Friday, the meal packs are discreetly placed in students’ book bags by staff and volunteers. Through these programs, kids in need receive a year-long supply of child-friendly weekend food and can return to school on Monday well-fed and ready to learn.
THE CHILDREN WE SERVE
School administrators, counselors, and teachers work together to identify children who suffer from hunger and enroll them in a child hunger program. Typically, the school administration begins by looking at the list of students who receive free lunches and are living in a home below the poverty level and identifying which of these children need help. Counselors and teachers also watch for signs of hunger such as excessive tiredness or weakness (especially on Monday mornings), requests for extra food at lunch, or student requests for food or help.
How you can Help
BackPack and Pantry Pack sites are in constant need of funding and volunteers. BackPacks cost $5 a week per student, a total of $20/month during the school year. Pantry Packs cost just $8/month. You can help feed a local child all year long by becoming a monthly donor online- it’s quick and easy!
“I like it because it helps me. I like the apple sauce, but my brother eats it all. My baby brother likes the chili.” — 1st Grade Backack Participant
“Sometimes, the meals at school are the only meals we get. We are really happy to get this food .” — 6th Grade Pantry Packs Participant
“We try to be discreet when we distribute our bags so our children aren’t embarrassed. Every now and then, the students will see us passing by with our buggy and whisper a ‘thank you’ knowing we just left a bag for them.” — Volunteer, BackPack Program