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Backpack

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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.

During the school year, many low-income children have access to nutritious meals through their school’s free-and-reduced breakfast and lunch program. Unfortunately, on the weekends these same children go without food. Our Backpack program helps these children by providing weekend food support throughout the school year.

2021 Backpack Impact Report
  • 63,149 Backpacks Distributed Statewide
  • 2,651 Children Served
  • 173 Schools Participating
  • 1,851 Additional Backpacks Provided

About the Backpack Program

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.

I have one student who was researching how to find food on his school computer, then we got him signed up for the program and he is excited every week when he gets a bag to take home.

School Survey

Making a Difference in Children’s Lives

The Backpack Program does far more than satisfy an empty stomach. It improves child’s social, emotional and physical well-being. In addition, it creates happier families by relieving parents of the fear and anxiety associated with not being able to provide for their children. When basic needs are met, children and families can thrive.

Kids have told me they would starve over the weekend without the bags. They are so happy to have the security of food bags and know they will not go hungry. Their parents are grateful as It helps kids feel cared for, their needs are met, and they do better at school.

School Coordinator
PARENTS & SCHOOL SURVEY

Results Tell the Story

  • 95% of parents definitely or somewhat agreed that the Backpack Program has made a positive difference in the well-being of their child.
  • 94% 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 helped stretch their household dollars to be used for other critical family needs.
OVERCOMING OBSTACLES

Challenges with Remote Learning

Several schools in Southwest Idaho that participate in The Idaho Foodbank’s Backpack Program recognized that remote learning could decrease children’s access to food. To address the needs of those children, several schools got creative by loading school buses with ready-to-eat meals from the cafeteria, as well as Backpacks from The Idaho Foodbank. The buses followed their regular routes and were able to hand out this food at neighborhood stops.

We cannot thank the hard-working school counselors, teachers and administrators enough for making healthy food possible for thousands of children across Idaho this past year.

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The Idaho Foodbank 2021 Annual Report

In fiscal year 2021, 30.9 Million pounds of food were distributed statewide, a 38% increase from the previous year. Over 197,000 people served any given month from our facilities in Meridian, Pocatello, and Lewiston, and through our network of over 465 community distribution partners statewide.

2021 Annual Report