child at school drinking milkWe are excited to work with our 250 partner schools to make sure the 5,700+ students the Program serves can count on a bag full of kid-friendly foods each Friday throughout the 2021-2022 school year.

Last year, the Program distributed over 170,000 bags, containing over 2 million meals. The bags included cereal, oatmeal, macaroni and cheese, PB & J, soup, a loaf of bread, fresh apples, a gift card good for a dozen eggs and gallon of milk, and a sweet treat. An average BackPack contains 14 pounds of food to help feed each student and their family over the weekend.

This year, in addition to the nonperishable staples BackPack normally sends home, we are giving sites the option to select frozen and refrigerated foods  as well. We piloted the program last year, and schools accessed an additional 350,000 pounds of frozen and refrigerated food, including meats, cheeses, premade meals, frozen fruit, and occasional sweet treats.

The BackPack Programs’ impact is most evident to our partner school coordinators. Here are comments three of them shared about the Program:

“We have a student who greets the delivery person every Friday morning. This little girl would otherwise go hungry until returning to school on Monday. It has been a game changer for her.”

“We have several students who have had difficult experiences (family changes, job loss, death) and the food bag is a concrete, consistent way we can help meet the food needs of those children and their families.”

“I believe the BackPack Program was a lifeline for many families, not just an individual student, as designed. Our program was able to meet the immediate needs/desperate calls from crying parents/messages left from families that had no food in the house. The Program is AMAZING and went above and beyond to help students and families receive food. The BackPack team members were supportive, encouraging, responsive, and easy to work with. Keep up the great work!!”