Food Backpacks 4 Kids is a unique effort to meet the needs of hungry, food-insecure school children in the Peninsula School District. This program is a community effort to ensure that those students and their families who need food on the weekends have access to nutritious and easy-to-prepare meals. Volunteers from the community donate, collect and pack a variety of meals in backpacks to be distributed weekly during the school year to children identified by District school counselors as needing our offerings.
Why We Exist
Food Backpacks 4 Kids exists to maintain an association of volunteers interested in meeting nutritional and food needs in our community, and is an endeavor in partnership with all 15 schools in the Peninsula School District. We hope to include additional school districts over time.
Food Backpacks 4 Kids is a community effort to ensure that those who need food on the weekends have access to nutritious and easy-to-prepare food. The difference this makes is a more alert and eager-to-learn student Monday morning: a student who is less disruptive and who is able to focus on academics.
A child who is well fed because of the generosity of neighbors looks to those neighbors with a sense of appreciation through the years. This child cares about you because you have cared about her, because someone cares enough to help during his family’s tough time.
What We Do
The Food Backpacks 4 Kids program was launched on the Key Peninsula in 2009. In our first week of operation, nine backpacks were packed for distribution at Evergreen Elementary School. Our collective passion has infected many others resulting in substantial growth of the program. Each school year we support approximately 500 children and youth weekly, with participating students at every school in the Peninsula School District. Our projection is that each year the number of children and families served will increase.
Three sites are used to pack the nearly 450 backpacks we distribute weekly:
Our original core group of volunteers pack the backpacks that are distributed to our original site of Evergreen Elementary as well as Vaughn and Minter Creek Elementary and Key Peninsula Middle School.
Our hardworking volunteers at Agnus Dei Lutheran Church pack for the students at Purdy Elementary, Harbor Ridge Middle School, and Peninsula High School.
Dedicated volunteers at Peninsula Lutheran Church fill backpacks for the students at Discovery Elementary, Harbor Heights Elementary, Voyager Elementary, Goodman Middle School, Kopachuck Middle School, and Gig Harbor and Henderson Bay High Schools.
To meet the needs of the community, we have extended the backpack program by establishing a summer lunch program. All children, youth and their parents are invited to enjoy a hot, home cooked meal three days a week. Additional food items, fresh fruit and home essentials are distributed throughout the summer.
With support from community members like yourself along with our corporate sponsors such as the Emergency Food Network and the Russell Family Foundation, we are able to continue to meet the needs of students in the Peninsula School District. Studies have shown that when children’s basic needs are being met, through the kindness of donors such as yourselves, they learn better, are better focused, and even grow up to give back to their communities. 80% of all donations are utilized to purchase food items for the backpacks. Only 20% or less of the funds collected are used for administration in direct support of FB4K. All other activities are supported by volunteers from the community to include our Board of Directors and those filling the backpacks.
Small collection cans for donation of cash and checks are available around the community. Checks can also be mailed to us at P.O. Box 173, Gig Harbor, WA 98335. Credit card donations are accepted through Paypal. Our link to Paypal can be found on the donations page.
We are always eager to accept food donations. Please call our office at 253-857-7401, and we will be happy to arrange a pick up or meet you at a packing site. We have donation sheds located throughout the community for food donations. Information about these locations can be found on the donation station page.
Our generous community sponsors many food drives. Please check out our Facebook Page for the next one near you.