One in five kids in Nebraska and western Iowa under the age of 18 is at-risk for hunger. The BackPack Program is designed to provide food for hungry children at times when other resources are not available, such as during weekends and school vacations.
Staff members at local elementary schools identify chronically hungry students then Food Bank for the Heartland supplies packs filled with nutritious food for those children to take home on Friday afternoons. Each pack provides two breakfast meals and two lunch or dinner meals. They are delivered to participating schools by Food Bank for the Heartland volunteers and staff members.
The BackPack Program launched in 2006 with just three schools participating, and today we are distributing 8,300 packs to children in need each week in 244 schools across Nebraska and western Iowa. During the 2014-2015 school year, 44 percent of the children who received packs lived in rural areas of Nebraska and western Iowa and 56 percent lived in the Omaha Metro Area.
To learn more, please contact Michelle Sause, Child Hunger Program Manager, at Food Bank for the Heartland at 402.905.4811.
With the rising cost of living expenses, more and more families are struggling to make ends meet. The price per pack is $4. Contact Brian Barks, Director of Development & Communications, at 402.905.4808 for sponsorship information.
Donate online using the Virtual BackPack Drive sponsored by the Woodhouse Auto Family.
View a list of schools participating in the Backpack program.
Weekly Backpack Chart
What do children and educators think of the BackPack Program?