Gleaners Food Bank has created the backsack program to provide weekend meals to food-insecure students. Many school have developed their own version of the program. Essentially, children are given a bag of food for the weekend that is designed to include nutritionally balanced meals to last the child until they return to school on Monday. For many children, the result is better school attendance, improved focus and, most important, the feeling that they are seen and cared for by the adults in their community.
- All foods should be non-perishable and packaged so that a child can prepare and eat the food without adult supervision needed. Foods that need to be microwaved are okay but not items that require a stove.
- All food items must be stored in a clean room, on a counter or in a cabinet and with limited access.
- Confidentiality is a paramount concern. Only 1-2 people in your building should be responsible for food distribution.
- I send opt in permission forms (Backpack Buddy Program Permission Form) to everyone on the free and reduced lunch list. I compile a list of those that are returned and let each teacher know who in their class receives bags. We ask them to be discreet, but the kids usually catch on. We just act like it’s no big deal, so that there isn’t a lot of attention drawn to it. We had initially had students come pick bags up in the office, so that they weren’t being given out in front of peers, but that caused too much chaos. I now use black, non-seethrough bags and have a label on each one with the teachers name, number of bags they receive and the initials of any students in their class who receive bags as well as any allergies next to the initials. This way if there is a sub, they can figure it out. I hang the filled bags on the classroom door so I dont interrupt, and they return the empty black bag to my office.
- We do this on Fridays, the kiddos who get them are dismissed a few minutes early to pick up their bag before heading home. We start with our free lunch kiddos. Send home a slip and those that return it with a no are taken off. If we don’t get anything back then they still get one
- we send a letter home with all free and reduced students. parents are supposed to check the yes or no box. students who we know are in great need we may send a bag home with them if we do not receive the letter back. our high schoolers distribute the correct number of bags to each classroom in the morning and a teacher or aid puts the bags in the students backpack who are supposed to receive them sometime during the day.
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This post was last modified by Kelly Dunn on November 30, 2018.
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This post was created by ABCD ContentManager on August 7, 2016.