In more than 50 cities, backpacks being packed to feed hungry schoolchildren as part of “Blessings in a Backpack Day”

September 17, 2015 – No child should go hungry. That was the unifying message of mayors across the country who banded together today to raise awareness about childhood hunger. For the second year in a row, the United States Conference of Mayors declared the third Thursday in September, this year September 17, 2015, “Blessings in a Backpack Day.” Mayors in cities across the country partnered with local volunteers to fill backpacks of food for hungry students to take home for the weekend.

Today, nearly 70 percent of children in the U.S. are on the federal Free and Reduced Price School Meals program, totaling nearly 31 million students. This federal program provides food for these students during the week, but most of them have a difficult time obtaining food during the weekends. This is where Blessings in a Backpack comes in.

Blessings in a Backpack is a 501(c)3 organization that, through an all-volunteer network, mobilizes communities, individuals and resources to provide food on the weekends for elementary school children across America who face food insecurity.

Each week volunteers make sure that students in their community have food for the weekend by purchasing food and stuffing backpacks for distribution to local students. To ensure that every dollar possible goes directly to food for the children, Blessings donates the backpacks for each program, which each child receives on Friday, full of food for the weekend. Blessings in a Backpack currently provides nearly 3 million hunger-free weekends to more than 78,000 children in 45 states and the District of Columbia.

“Too many students leave school on Friday with little expectation for food the next few days, this is not acceptable,” said Brooke Wiseman, CEO of Blessings in a Backpack. “We are so appreciative of the mayors across the country who took the time today to make feeding children in their communities a priority. Their activities shine a light on childhood hunger and food insecurity in this country. Through their efforts, we are hopeful that more people will want to get involved which will help us feed even more children.”

In a dedicated effort to combat childhood hunger, Mayor Jim Schmitt of Green Bay, WI and Mayor Greg Stanton of Phoenix, AZ have continued to encourage their peers at the U.S Conference of Mayors to support this cause. Their hard work has resulted in today’s second annual Blessings in a Backpack Day.

Cities with mayors participating in the 2015 Blessings in a Backpack Day include:

  • Akron, OH
  • Alexandria, VA
  • Atlantic Beach, FL
  • Belpre, OH
  • Birmingham, MI
  • Columbia, MD
  • Dallas, TX
  • Davie, FL*
  • Dayton, OH
  • Effingham, IL
  • Evanston, IL*
  • Frederick, MD
  • Myers, FL
  • Ft Wayne, IN
  • Glendale, AZ
  • Glendale Heights, IL
  • Green Cove Springs, FL
  • Green Bay, WI
  • Greenwood, IN
  • Hackensack, NJ*
  • Hartford, CT*
  • Hickman, CA
  • Houston, TX
  • Hulett, WY
  • Lansing, MI*
  • Livonia, MI
  • Louisville, KY
  • Maderia Beaches, FL
  • Miami, FL
  • Miramar, FL*
  • Modesto, CA
  • Nashville, TN (Mayor-elect)
  • North Redington, FL
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Pinecrest, FL
  • Pontiac, MI*
  • Providence, RI
  • Rancho Cordova, CA
  • Rochester Hills, MI
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • San Diego, CA*
  • Petersburg, FL
  • Sundance, WY
  • Tempe, AZ*
  • Tucson, AZ
  • Waterford Township, MI
  • Waukesha, WI
  • Wilkinsburg, PA
  • Williamston, NC

*Events taking place in the coming weeks due to scheduling.

 

In all, more than 50 backpack stuffings are taking place at Blessings in a Backpack programs across the country as part of “Blessings in a Backpack Day.” For more information about Blessings in a Backpack and how to get involved, please visit www.blessingsinabackpack.org.

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About Blessings in a Backpack: Hunger has both short- and long-term negative effects on children’s health and ability to succeed in school. Blessings in a Backpack is a 501(c)3 organization that, through an all-volunteer network, mobilizes communities, individuals and resources to provide food on the weekends for elementary school children across America who might otherwise go hungry. Blessings in a Backpack currently provides nearly 3 million hunger-free weekends to more than 78,000 children in 45 states and the District of Columbia.

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Contact: Katelyn Yoshimoto                                                                                                                         312.573.5492                                                                                             katelyn_yoshimoto@jtpr.com