Blessings in a Backpack Rancho Cordova program extends food distribution as schools remain closed

Blessings in a Backpack Rancho Cordova program extends food distribution as schools remain closed

The local Blessings in a Backpack program, which provides weekend food to hungry students, has had to adjust its delivery system due to the COVID-19 crisis.

It is also expanding its service to Folsom.

Retiree Janice Davis and her husband started a Rancho Cordova chapter in 2014 that now provides weekend meals to 380 students.

They heard reports of kids going hungry who did not have access to school meals.

“My husband and I looked at each other and we didn’t grow up with silver spoons in our mouths but we always had food in our mouths,” Davis explained. “Why don’t these kids have food on the weekends?”

Before the virus outbreak, volunteers delivered donated food to seven campuses in the Folsom Cordova Unified School District where bags were prepared by those at the school for distribution on Fridays.

With school campuses closed, it opened a drive-thru location at St. John Vianney Catholic Church on Coloma Road on Fridays. Now, a second location at the Twin Lakes Food Bank in Folsom is open on Thursday afternoons.

The nonprofit civic group Friends of Folsom is helping in that effort by raising money and food donations for the effort. Director Sarah Wood said Folsom’s image of an upscale community gives the impression that help is needed.

“Some of the schools in Folsom are better off but that makes it so those that aren’t get less help,” Wood told FOX40.

The distribution does not require any identification or pre-registration.

The drive-thru is also available to seniors, another group that is in need during the crisis.

The new distribution system allows volunteers to interact with kids and parents for the first time.

“We’ve got moms who pull up and got tears in their eyes. We’ve got dads who can’t say thank you enough,” Davis said. “We go home with our hearts when we get done with food bag distributions.”

Blessings in a Backpack will be operating its Rancho Cordova drive-thru Friday. To learn more, click here.