There are children in America that rely on resources such as free or reduced-priced school lunch during the school year. The Backpack Program is designed to meet the needs of hungry children at times when other resources are not available, such as weekends and school vacations.
- Backpacks are filled with food that children take home on weekends.
- All of the food is child-friendly, nonperishable, easily consumed and vitamin fortified.
- Backpacks are discreetly distributed to children on the last day before the weekend or vacation.
Please click here to email Mary Jo Crouch, Youth Services Assistant.
The Backpack Concept
The Backpack Program concept was developed at the Arkansas Rice Depot in Little Rock after a school nurse asked for help because hungry students were coming to her with stomach aches and dizziness. The local food bank began to provide the school children with groceries in non-descript backpacks to carry home.
More about this Program:
- In addition to providing nutritious food to school children in need, some Backpack Programs provide extra food for younger siblings at home. Others operate during the summer when children are out of school and have limited access to free or reduced-priced lunches. The Backpack Program became a pilot program in 1995. Feeding America approved the Backpack Program as an official national program of the network in 2006.
- More than 145 Feeding America members operate more than 3,600 Backpack Programs and collectively serve more than 190,000 children each year.
- In FY 17, God’s Pantry Food Bank partnered with 18 different sites to provide 31,017 backpacks to children in need.
- For more information on God’s Pantry Food Bank’s partner Backpack Programs, contact Mary Jo Crouch at 859-288-5304.