Regional Programs

BackPack Program

Although free and reduced breakfast and lunch programs provide significant nutritional benefits to students during the school day, many disadvantaged children do not receive sufficient food when school is not in session. The BackPack Program helps alleviate child hunger by discreetly providing hungry children with backpacks full of nutritious and easy-to-prepare food on Friday afternoons so they have food to eat throughout the weekend.

Each BackPack contains:

  • 2 breakfast items (cereal, oatmeal packets, graham crackers, granola bars)
  • 3 entrées (mac & cheese, PB & J, Spaghettios, tuna, soup)
  • A loaf of bread
  • Stewart’s milk card for a gallon of milk (distributed every other week)
  • 2 juice boxes (100% juice when possible)
  • Fresh fruits
  • Canned vegetables (distributed monthly)
  • 2 snacks (cookies, popcorn, pudding, etc.)

Menus change each week to provide participating children with variety.

Currently, the BackPack Program serves more than 2,500 students at 115 schools in 18 counties. See the complete list of schools here.

Read the BackPack Program Fact Sheet here.

The BackPack Program is made possible by the generous support of many individuals and businesses. Click here to see the list of donors who have fully adopted BackPack Programs.

To donate to the BackPack Program, click here and choose “BackPack Program” in the Program Designation drop-down menu.

For more information about the Backpack Program, please contact Betsy Dickson, Director of Children’s Programs, at 518-786-3691 x233, or by email at

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