Backpack Programs Join Forces to End Childhood Hunger on the Weekends Across the United States
Blessings in a Backpack and No Kid Hungry host ‘Great Minds Think Alike: Weekend Food Program Summit’
More than 13 million American children are at risk of going hungry on the weekends. That is one in six children who struggles to access food for the 65 hours they are not at school.
Backpack programs across the country are sending thousands of children home with food for the weekend and making a positive impact in the lives of children, families, and communities. For the first time, 14 organizations dedicated to ending childhood hunger in the U.S. came together at the ‘Great Minds Think Alike: Weekend Food Program Summit’ to share knowledge, resources, and best practices to eliminate childhood hunger on the weekends.
“The goal is to take a holistic approach to tackle childhood hunger on the weekends,” said Brooke Wiseman, Blessings in a Backpack. “By coming together, we can ensure that children in all communities across the country are getting the food they need to learn and grow.”
Conversations were focused around meeting the nutritional needs of children, raising money and stewarding donors, and empowering volunteers for greater success. However, the grand takeaway from the Summit was the importance of making sure children have food to eat on Saturday and Sunday.
“When people are skeptical, we remind them: It’s never wrong to feed a child,” said Chris Sloan, Second Harvest of Spokane, Wash. “No matter the circumstance, it’s out of the child’s control.”
The Summit is a result of a thriving partnership between Blessings in a Backpack and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign.
“There’s an obvious natural synergy between the work that the No Kid Hungry campaign does in increasing access to school breakfast, lunch, after school, and summer meals and the work that backpack programs do to provide nutrition over the weekends,” said Emily Pia, No Kid Hungry. “We were proud to support the ‘Great Minds Think Alike’ Summit because we know we have a greater collective impact when we all join hands and work together. Each of us has a strength to share in the fight to end childhood hunger.”
Organizations in attendance at the ‘Great Minds Think Alike’ Summit include: A Child’s Hope International, At the Core, Blessings in a Backpack, Completely KIDS, End 68 Hours of Hunger, Food For Free, Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes, KidsPak, No Kid Hungry, Nourish Inc., Operation Food Search, Second Harvest, Snack Pak 4 Kids, and The Sheridan Story.
“Kids can’t learn if they’re hungry, but they can change the world if they’re full,” said Dyron Howell, Snack Pak 4 Kids.