Approximately 55,000 students in The Food Bank’s service area qualify for free and reduced-priced school meals. For many of them, breakfast and lunch at school offer the only source of reliable nutrition and they are at risk of hunger over the weekend.
To alleviate this risk, The Food Bank partners with elementary schools in each of the 32 counties it serves to provide Buddy Packs to school children. Buddy Packs are backpacks filled with kid-friendly, nutritious food that students take home over the weekend or holiday periods to supplement their meals when there is not enough for them to eat at home. After the weekend, the kids bring their empty Buddy Pack back to school to be refilled by local volunteers. The program continues week after week throughout the school year or as needed to keep the growing youngsters happy and healthy.
During the 2012-13 school-year, the Buddy Pack program will help feed more than 6,700 children each week. You can help by donating backpacks or money to purchase food for the program. You could also Adopt a Buddy to provide one backpack for one child for an entire school year!
Items Needed for Buddy Packs
- New or gently used backpacks
- Nutritious, shelf-stable food items such as
- Peanut butter crackers
- Pop-top Canned fruits
- Pop-top Canned soup
- Granola bars
- Peanut butter (in plastic jar)
If you choose to donate food, please avoid items such as:
- Food stored in glass containers
- Perishable food such as fresh fruits & vegetables
- Cookies or other items containing a lot of sugar
If you prefer, make a cash donation to The Food Bank, and we’ll buy the food for the Buddy Packs directly.
Click here to learn more about the Buddy Pack Program in your county.