COVID-19 Response Effort

COVID-19 Response Effort

Who will feed the kids this weekend?

This is the question we are continually asking at Blessings in a Backpack. Why? While most people can’t wait for the weekend, kids at risk of hunger can’t wait for it to be over. In fact, 11 million kids in America won’t have enough food to eat this weekend.

The current public health emergency has highlighted just how vulnerable these 11 million food-insecure children are. Typically, these kids rely on the food that schools provide during the week and Blessings in a Backpack food on the weekends. The school closures have changed this arrangement. Accordingly, we’ve had to adjust our traditional question. We’re now asking:

Who will feed the kids when schools are closed?

We are hoping that you will choose to answer, “I will” to ensure these kids are fed during this emergency and when they return to school.

Help Blessings in a Backpack continue to feed kids during this public health emergency. As little as $4 provides a Blessings bag of food to a child facing food insecurity now and when kids return to school.

Community Focused Effort

Blessings in a Backpack’s response varies by community and focuses on aligning with the school’s food distribution solution and/or other local initiatives. We are sharing solutions and other support services Blessings volunteer teams across the country to help feed kids in their communities.  Below are examples of community-focused solutions:

  • In Syracuse, N.Y., the school district is continuing to feed all of the 569 students they serve through a “grab-and-go” program during the weekdays, while the Blessings program at the Delaware School is continuing to feed all of these kids by passing out prepacked bags of food to the kids on Fridays. Syracuse is not letting this crisis stop them from taking care of their kids.
  • In a suburban Chicago school district, district staff and volunteers are packing bags, and doubling from the standard 750 bags to 1,500 bags, each having additional food items. Bags will be distributed at one school with a “drive-thru” process.
  • In some program locations, such as Huntington, Ind., and Newark, N.Y., the school system is distributing food, including Blessings bags of food, to students using their school busing system.
  • In Charlotte, N.C., program coordinator Debbie Porter responded to the potential school closings in her area by exceeding the normal activities of a Blessings in a Backpack program. To ensure that kids at her school have food to eat, she packed and delivered enough bags to the school to last the kids until mid-May! If the school closes, kids will now take home as much as they can so they have food on the weekends while they’re not in class.
  • For school districts that have created food distribution centers at specific schools, Blessings bags of food will be available at the centers for children to take home with them. For example, in Louisville, Ky., any child under the age of 18 who eats meals at a designated feeding site will receive a bag of food.

Click here to read more stories about how communities, businesses, and people have come together to feed kids during this unprecedented time.

Ways to Help

In addition to donating to our COVID-19 response effort, here are other ways to help:

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Cartwheels 4 Meals:

We challenge you to do #Cartwheels4Meals in support of Blessings in a Backpack! This social media campaign will raise awareness and dollars for Blessings in a Backpack during the COVID-19 crisis through a fun, interactive challenge at home. Learn how you can get involved .

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Facebook Fundraiser:

If you are looking for a way to be helpful from your phone or computer screen, creating a Facebook fundraiser is one of the best ways to do so. Not only do you raise critical funds to help feed kids, but you also spread the word of the need of food-insecure kids! Click here to learn more.

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Employee Engagement:

Are you looking for a way to build connections and comradery during this time? Host a Social Giving Packing Event virtually and help Blessings in a Backpack feed kids while schools are closed! Click here for details.

Thank You

At Blessings in a Backpack, we mobilize communities, individuals, and resources to provide food on the weekend to kids who might otherwise go hungry. Because of this mission, we have witnessed the power of communities when they come together toward a common goal. It is because of this experience that we are confident our country will find the strength to weather this storm together.

Thank you to our lead COVID-19 Response Effort Partners:

Through a donation of $400,000, KFC is making hunger-free weekends possible by providing bags of food for school children at 35 program locations in 17 states during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Kingmade Jerky donated 20% of proceeds and over $100,000 of beef jerky to 5,000 children around the nation, in partnership with 15 PGA TOUR player-sponsored Blessings in a Backpack programs.
Constellation Brands employees responded in a big way to a COVID-19 fundraiser. Combined with a $25,000 gift from the Sands Family Foundation and all donations matched 2:1, support exceeded $160,000.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Anthem Foundation donated $100,000 to Blessings to feed 200 kids each in Indiana, Nevada, Tennessee, and Texas.
With a gift of $250,000, Together Rising is helping feed kids at 22 program locations in 11 states during this national emergency.
Blessings in a Backpack thanks Delta Pilots Charitable Fund for making hunger-free weekends possible for children across the country through a donation of $100,000!
Funded by a $100,000 donation, Giant Food is providing bags of weekend food to children in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., during this challenging time.
The Albertsons Companies Foundation awarded Blessings $235,000 to feed kids in 10 states through the Nourishing Neighbors Community Relief campaign.
In the Greater Chicago region, Fifth Third Bank donated $50,000 to help nearly 3,000 children receive Blessings in a Backpack bags of food during school closures.
Across Ohio and Illinois, children at 31 schools have access to weekend nutrition due to Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation’s generosity!
Blessings in a Backpack thanks No Kid Hungry for a donation of $100,000 to support bags of weekend nutrition for children in Louisville, Ky.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Southwest Florida.
KKW Fragrance donated 20% of its profits through in spring 2020 to Blessings in a Backpack.
Across One Louisville’s generous support provided weekend nutrition for 667 kids throughout the pandemic.


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