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.
Backpacks Distributed Statewide
Children on Program Waiting List
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.
Going without food over the weekend makes learning difficult when children return to school on Monday.Teacher
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 and taste good!
Survey Results Tell the Story
What children say
- 70% responded that the Backpacks made them very happy.
What parents say:
- 93% definitely or somewhat agreed that the Backpack Program helped stretch their household dollars to be used for other critical family needs.
- 96% definitely or somewhat agreed that the Backpack Program has made a positive difference in the well-being of their child.
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.
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
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