Plan For Success with the Backpacks for Kids Program
A weekend Nutrition Program For Hungry Schoolchildren
• Backpack Basics / Timeline Checklist
• How your Rotary Club can organize to make a difference in the lives of local children.
• The benefits beyond giving for your club
LOCAL NEEDS – LOCAL RESPONSE
Every day school day 30.5 Million free or low cost meals are served in our nation’s schools to insure children get the nutritious food they may not always have at home.
Until recently, kids were on their own on weekends. Working parent’s schedules, tight family budgets and rising food costs affect everyone but especially the availability of food in the homes of our poorest children.
BACKPACKS FOR KIDS provides a real backpack filled with enough non-perishable, nutritional and easy to fix food to carry an eligible child through a weekend and into the next school week without hunger.
- · Food For People coordinates nine Humboldt County school site Backpack For Kids distribution programs serving over 234 children identified as being at risk of hunger every the weekend.
- · The total cost per student for a full school year is $ 230.00. Most schools serve 20 to 40 students.
- · Six Humboldt County Backpacks For Kids programs currently need community sponsors and more local schools need this program.
PICK IT UP PACK IT UP
A sponsoring club picks up the food Pre set ups and a small team of volunteers makes filling
allotment and the empty backpacks the backpacks a short task when many hands help.
from the Food For People warehouse.
The backpack is filled on Wednesday or Thursday and delivered to the school every Friday for distribution in the afternoon. The empty backpacks are returned in time for the next week’s distribution.
WHO GETS BACKPACKS?
- · Child’s family must demonstrate financial need.
- · Child is identified by teachers or administrators as being most at risk of weekend hunger.
- · Parents agree to participate with the child creating another school / home link of accountability and access.
- · Teachers note better concentration and better behavior when hunger is not a weekend problem.
“Nearly 95% of the students at Alice Birney qualify for Free and Reduced Lunches. The majority of these students come from families who live on what an entry-level job provides and are called “the working poor.”
The Rotary Club and Food for People are making a difference right here in our community, one kid and one family at a time. Students don’t ask to be poor but a program like Backpack for Kids meets some of that need and gives our kids a tangible reason to hope, too.” (Principal)
“I like the red backpack. I get good food. I like macaroni and cheese best.” (a 1st grade student)
“The food I get on Friday helps my family and me every week. I don’t like the brown bread but my brother does. I like the tuna. My principal gave me a can open. (a 3rd grade student)
CONSIDER THE GOAL:
· Is it worth it?
· Will the club support it?
EVALUATE YOUR RESOURCES:
· Leadership: Who can head up this project?
· Financial: How much money for how long? Grants? Partner with other clubs? How many years will we do it?
· Time: Will members make time to make it happen every week?
Connections: What resources do our members have to build a program that works for us?
Schedule of Project
PREPARE – A BLUEPRINT FOR BACKPACKS FOR KIDS
ACTION – A BLUEPRINT FOR BACKPACKS FOR KIDS
HIDDEN REWARDS FOR YOUR CLUB
The joy is in the doing. Without a doubt, hands-on projects build club spirit and loyalty. Club identity soars when engaged in a project members are proud to talk about. Proud members are loyal members and they help bring new members into your organization.
Backpacks For Kids is not just good for the kids we serve each week. Each week its also good for the clubs that get involved in helping solve a local problem addressed by Backpacks For Kids.
RESOURCES ON THE WEB
Food For People, Humboldt County’s Food Bank
Feeding America—Food Bank Network, program originator
Speakers and Program Advocates