Blessings in a Backpack’s COVID-19 Response Effort
Help Blessings in a Backpack continue to feed kids on the weekends during this public health emergency. At Blessings program locations across the country, we are striving to get extra bags to kids in case their school closes. For those already closed, we are working to identify a distribution process for that community.
Our response varies by school, impacted by factors such as:
- The school’s closure schedule and food distribution plan
- Public safety mandates and protocols
- Food availability in the region
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.
All of our programs are receiving an outpouring of support from their communities. We are so blessed to have such a caring and motivated group of volunteers across the country. Because of people like them (and you!), we are providing for our kids during this public health emergency.
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 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. Thank you, Debbie, for going above and beyond!
In Frederick, Md., the Blessings program has responded to the closing of schools statewide by pulling together enough food to last each of their 3,100 kids for five days; that’s 100,000 food items! The program accomplished this by mobilizing their community and utilizing their “Blizzard Bags” (typically reserved for snow days), emergency snack packs, and doubling up on their normally scheduled bags. On March 12, 2020, kids even went home with a fresh apple! A local partner, Dublin Roasters Coffee, has offered to serve as a distribution hub for future bags. Kids in Frederick are in good hands!
In Houston, Texas, Bayou City Blessings in a Backpack has been working with local schools and community members to implement a “grab and go” delivery system at a secondary location for students who did not receive their spring break bag before dismissal. On March 12, 2020, volunteers packed 2,000 bags for kids in their community in the coming weeks. In addition to those 2,000 bags, Bayou City Blessings’ volunteers delivered 1,500 bags of food to some local schools ahead of schedule. These bags included hearty foods for long breaks from school. We are grateful for the quick and innovative thinking of our volunteers in Houston.
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.
Blessings bags in Charlotte, N.C.
Volunteers in Frederick, Md.