What Do We Do?
Blessings in a Backpack provides elementary schoolchildren who are on the federal Free and Reduced Price Meal Program with a backpack of food to take home for 38 weekends during the school year. Backpack food includes easy-to-prepare, ready-to-eat foods, like granola bars, juice boxes, mac and cheese, and oatmeal.
Why We Do It?
There are 20+ million children in this country who are at risk of hunger. And the consequences of hunger are much more than a growling stomach. Poor nutrition can result in a weaker immune system, increased hospitalization, lower IQ, shorter attention spans, and lower academic achievement. Children are fed during the school week by federal government programs, but we want to make sure they’re getting nutritional meals over the weekend, too.
How Much Does it Cost?
$80 - $100 feeds one child on the weekends for one 38 week school year through the Blessings in a Backpack program. 50 kids at $80 is $4,000 to get started. 100% of money raised to fund a school goes to feeding that school.
How Does a Program Start?
There are four ingredients to every Blessings in a Backpack Adopt a School program:
1) School children in need: There are schoolchildren in need across America in every community. Find an elementary school you’re most connected to and choose to make a difference. We can also help you identify a school in your community that meets our guidelines. It is necessary to also identify a primary school contact (Principal, Family Resource Counselor, or Social Worker) to determine their interest in becoming a participating school.
2) Program Coordinator: Program Coordinators form the backbone of Blessings in a Backpack. We ask our Program Coordinators to take on a lot of responsibility and make a long-term commitment when they join our organization. Program Coordinators coordinate payment for the food every week, make sure the food gets to the school, and organize volunteers to get the food into the backpacks. They fundraise or find a financial sponsor for the program. A Program Coordinator can be an individual: a concerned parent, teacher, or member of the community. Neighborhood organizations can also act as program coordinators, spreading out the responsibility among their members.
3) Financial Support (Sponsor/Fundraising): Each school needs financial support to cover the cost of food for that school. Every single dollar you raise for Blessings in a Backpack school sponsorship goes back to your school. There are many ways to raise dollars to feed kids. For example, a program coordinator may raise dollars one check at a time or organize a series of fundraisers. Also, a corporation or celebrity may sponsor a school. All we require is that you commit to providing the money to keep your program going for at least three years, with each year’s amount due to us 60 days before the start of the school year. You will need at least $80 per school child, so you would need $8,000 to sponsor 100 children for one year.
4) Grocery Partner: Work to develop a relationship with a grocery partner in your area.
Other things you need to know:
• We ask you start with 50 students.
• We ask for a three year commitment of program coordination and financial support.
• The school you choose may already be sponsored. Don’t worry! There are plenty of schools in your area that need your help.
We will assign you to an Account Representative at Blessings in a Backpack national office to work with you and help facilitate your program. We will also provide the backpacks for your school kids. Once we have these ingredients together, we can add a new school to the Blessings in a Backpack Program!
I am ready to adopt a school! Click here for everything you will need to know.