With each new school year, the Vermont Foodbank wants to do everything it can to ensure that the kids in our communities don’t go hungry over the weekend. Beginning in October 2008, the Foodbank launched a weekend program for children called the BackPack Program. This nationally recognized program of Feeding America is designed to meet the needs of hungry children at times when other resources, like school breakfast and lunch, are not available, such as weekends and school vacations.
How does the BackPack Program work?
Bags of kid-friendly, non-perishable food from all five food groups are packed and then distributed to participating schools. To reduce any stigma, packs of food are placed into the backpacks of those children participating in the program while the students are not in the classroom. The packs will contain about eight food items for the weekend; each pack contains similar items. Some of the items might be: Canned fruit and veggies, cereal, milk, cheese, and soup.
[NOTE: Scroll down to the bottom of this post to learn how you can help us win $45,000 to support this program!]
Who packs the bags?
Many, many volunteers do. And in the case of one site, Sodexo employees volunteer to store, pack and distribute the bags to kids in Winooski. Sodexo provides food services for the University of Vermont, as well as many colleges in Vermont and across the country.
We visited some of the volunteers on a day of a “pack” and asked them why they volunteer their time, after their workdays are over, to the Vermont Foodbank BackPack Program. Here are their stories:
Sodexo Supports BackPack – Donna
Sodexo Supports BackPack – Jennifer
Sodexo Supports BackPack – Shealeen
Sodexo Supports BackPack – Lisa
Sodexo Supports BackPack – Vicki
Photos from the Pack
Thank you to Sodexo, a partner in our fight against childhood hunger!
The BackPack Program is now eligible for a $45,000 WalMart Fighting Hunger Together grant. But we need YOUR vote to make this happen!
Or, if you’d like to make a donation directly to support this program, you can make a gift here.
Thank you so much for your support!