Food Backpacks 4 Kids meets the needs of hungry school children in the Peninsula School District. This program is an effort to ensure families have access to nutritious meals on the weekend.
To sign-up, please complete the Participation Form.
A Day of Packing Backpacks
One enters the world of Food Backpacks 4 Kids on a Wednesday morning in one of three sites in the Peninsula School District during the school year. The morning begins with volunteers gathering the food items that have been determined to be distributed that day. Our goal is to provide supplemental food for the weekend for an average family of four for the weekend.
The packing site for the greatest need area, the Key Peninsula, is located at the Key Peninsula Middle School. This site receives, stores and provides food items for the sites and is prepared to meet emergency food requests from the schools.
The week’s menu is posted on the white board and volunteers begin pulling items off the shelves for distribution. Items include breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner items, often with recipes which utilize the items provided. During the holidays, additional items, such as cake mixes, cookie packets, canned ham and fresh sweet potatoes are added to the selection. As funds and availability allow, fresh fruit and vegetables are packed in the backpacks.
There is much camaraderie among the volunteers during the packing process and often students participate in the packing process! Here are some of the students’ comments: “It is a great program that helps the kids on our community, Joanna, multi-year FB4K volunteer; Kady, “I like it because it gives nutritious food to kids to help them succeed in school;” Celeste Rivas, “It is helpful to families around this area get food that they may not usually get;” Hallie Hicks, “I like the FB4K program because it helps people who cannot afford food get good meals and I know lots of people that receive this food that need it and it helps them;” Skylar, “I like to help this program because it makes their lives better and it helps them get the food they need;” Kyra, “I’ve always hated the idea of being hungry, so helping is one way to stop hunger;” Justin, “I like to help here at FB4K because it helps kids get healthier and helps them so they don’t go hungry;” and, anonymous, “Unicorns never deserve to be hungry, and every kid deserves to be a unicorn.”
After the backpacks are packed, they are delivered to the schools by volunteers and later distributed to the students.
As we have matured as an organization, we have begun to focus less on alleviating hunger and more on providing supplemental nutrition. In order to accomplish this, we now offer free, new crock pots to participating families, allowing them prepare nutritionally balanced hot meals for the entire family. Each crockpot that we send home to a family allows them to prepare between 4 and 12 hot, nutritious meals at a time. Minimally, once a month a crock pot recipe is included in the backpack, along with the ingredients to prepare the meal. Because the size of our families vary, we estimate an average family size of four when computing our needs. The program is coordinated by Karen Jorgenson, Executive Director. For more information, please visit www.foodbackpacks4kids.org or call 253-857-7401.