The Idaho Foodbank’s Backpack program ensures that students who are chronically hungry have access to adequate food over the weekend by providing them with a backpack full of nutritious, kid-friendly food every Friday during the school year.
Going without food over the weekend makes learning difficult when children return to school on Monday.
Every Friday, each participating child receives a backpack with enough food for two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners and two snacks. Meals consist of nutritious, child-friendly items that are easy to prepare.
Survey Results Tell the Story
- 96% of school coordinators rated the backpack program as very beneficial to children and families
- 95% of parents definitely or somewhat agreed that the backpack program has made a positive difference in the well-being of their child
- 88% of parents definitely or somewhat agreed that the backpack program helped stretch their household dollars to be used for other critical family needs
Because the contents of each Backpack must be lightweight, nonperishable, nutritious, and consistent, we cannot rely on donated food and must purchase all the food used in the backpacks. Although our bulk-buying power helps us reduce the cost of purchasing these items, the program is still one of our most expensive, with an annual budget of close to $400,000.