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A woman named Missy Hammerstrom came up with the concept of Blessings in a Backpack. Missy discovered that elementary school students in her hometown of Louisville, Ky., were coming to school hungry on Mondays because they lacked sufficient nutrition over the weekends.

She had the idea of sending kids home with backpacks full of food on Fridays to bridge the weekend hunger gap—that’s 65 hours of little or no food. In 2005, she worked with a Louisville philanthropist to start the first Blessings in a Backpack program at Roosevelt Perry Elementary School; a program that is still in existence today.

In 2008, Blessings in a Backpack became a 501(c)(3) charity organization and started its first program outside of Kentucky—feeding kids on the weekends at Normandie Elementary School in Los Angeles. Since then, we’ve seen tremendous growth! The numbers below show the success of Blessings in a Backpack over a decade:

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