The mission of the BackPack Program is to help alleviate child hunger by providing hungry children with nutritious and easy to prepare food at times when other resources are not available, such as weekends and school vacations.
Children also receive food for the extended holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Spring Break. Backpacks are discreetly distributed to children on the last day before the weekend or holiday vacation.
The East Food Bank provides food for over 4,500 children in 17 counties in our service area. In the 2011-2012 school year, over 130,000 backpacks were distributed through schools, churches, and afterschool programs.The backpacks come filled with nutritious, easy-to-open food that does not require stove-top cooking. Empty backpacks are returned by the students and refilled for the following weekend. The typical backpack contains a variety of food usually including protein and fruit juices, for approximately $4.36 for 3 to 5 pounds of food.
The cost per child is $157 per year for a child to participate in a 36 week program which includes the backpack and food items.