Weekend Backpack Program Sends Food Home with at-Risk Students

VMDO Architects/Tom Daly Photography
VMDO Architects/Tom Daly Photography

The Problem: Children go hungry over the weekend

An estimated 1 in 5 children in the United States lives in a food insecure household – meaning that 20% of our students are likely to go hungry for some part of the year.

After the 2011 tornado, hunger and poverty spiked in the Joplin area. Currently, 61% of Joplin, Missouri students qualify for free or reduced lunches, and over 300 K – 5 students live in food-insecure homes. Children receive two meals a day during school, but may go home hungry over the weekend and struggle to concentrate when they return to school on Monday.

The Solution: Send them home with a full backpack

The Joplin Schools Foundation has partnered with Bright Futures to provide a backpack full of nutritious food for hungry students every week as they head home for the weekend. $5 will fill one backpack with food, and $20 will feed a child for a month of weekends. You can donate to this program by visiting JoplinSchools.org.

Each school recruits volunteers to prepare snack packs every Friday afternoon. Students return the empty backpacks on Monday and they are reused for the following week.

Recently, General Mills partnered with the Joplin Schools Foundation to deliver an ongoing grant to support this program. So far, they have funded over 3,500 snack packs.

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Category: EducationHunger

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Article by: Dave

Dave Cannon is a Seattle-based entrepreneur and consultant to nonprofits and small businesses. He loves Thai food and takes terrible photographs. You can follow him on Linkedin.
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