The Issue: Food for Food Insecure Youth During the Weekend
In 2010, according to a food security report by the United States Department of Agriculture, 17.2 million households were food insecure, which means that at some time during the year they faced difficulty providing enough food for all of their members. Free and reduced-price meal plans can provide food for food-insecure youth during the school week, but these programs do not extend to weekend meals.
The Campaign: Providing Weekend Meals for Low-Income Youth
If this Grassroots campaign raises $320, then Blessings in a Backpack can provide a school-year’s worth of weekend meals, over the course of 38 weeks, to four children from low-income families. Donations up to $50,000 will be matched by Meijer. Each additional $80 raised will provide a year's worth of weekend meals for another child. Each backpack full of food for the weekend includes items such as granola bars, juice boxes, mac 'n' cheese, and oatmeal.
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Blessings in a Backpack
Blessings in a Backpack supports children who qualify for the federal free-and-reduced-priced-meal program by ensuring that they have access to healthful foods during times when school is not in session. The organization provides backpacks full of ready-to-eat and easy-to-prepare foods for elementary schoolchildren during the 38 weekends of the school year. The driving force behind backpack distribution is that full bellies will lead to improved health, positive behaviors, better test scores, and increased attendance. Blessings in a Backpack's staff of only six people currently provides packs filled with food for 59,000 children in 35 states and three countries. The organization’s administrative costs are funded by a private foundation, allowing 100% of donations to go directly to providing food for children in need.