Back in 1995, a school nurse in Arkansas, noticed an alarming trend. Children were leaving school on Friday and returning to school on Monday much differently than when they had left.
They seemed to act up in class and were more likely to complain of weakness, headaches, and nausea. She deducted that these children were likely experiencing hunger on weekends when they missed their school meals. She aligned with her local food bank and started the BackPack Program – now operating in more than 160 regional Feeding America™ food banks like ours.
Thanks to your support, we secure non-perishable entrees, fruits and vegetables, cereal and snacks that are packed by our volunteers into small 5 to 6-pound bags. We supply these bags to 16 NE Minnesota and NW Wisconsin school districts and over 40 schools which identify children in need of our BackPack Program. School staff send the bags home at week’s end within a child’s own bookbag or backpack and an important weekend meal gap is filled by our program.
Last year we piloted a larger weekend bag of food for children. One child even asked his teacher, “Do I get this whole can of corn all to myself?”