School is starting soon and with that comes the firing up of the BackPack Program again. The BackPack Program is a great organization to get involved with, especially if you have kids in school. Here’s a little bit of background on the program and how to get involved.
The original BackPack Program began in 1995. A school nurse went to the Arkansas Rice Depot to ask for help for the kids coming to her during school days with dizziness and stomachaches caused by hunger. At the time, a local food bank began providing the kids with groceries in backpacks to take home.
You could say that the program grew rather quickly. Since its origins 3,600 BackPack programs feeding more than 190,000 children have been created. In July of 2006, the National Council of Feeding America approved the BackPack Program as an official national program.
How it Works
The program provides backpacks of food for students over the weekend who meet the requirements. Most students who benefit from the program are also on free or reduced lunch at their schools. In certain cases, the program will provide food for students over school vacations as well as food for younger siblings at home.
How You Can Help
By simply visiting www.feedingamerica.org you can quickly donate anywhere from 200 to 800 meals for a child this school year with donations of 25 to 100 dollars. Just 45 dollars helps feed a family of four for a month. Donations not only fund food but also the backpacks that kids take home.
Consider getting involved with this organization this school year. Some branches of the program have begun holding an annual BackPack Extra Mile Walk. Look into one of these or start your own in your town or just consider donation online.