There are thousands of children in Utah who rely on the BackPack Program, a nationally recognized program of Feeding America, works in conjunction with after-school programs to ensure that children at risk of hunger have access to enough food to get them through weekends when they lack access to school meal programs.
Each Friday during the school year, participating children receive a nondescript backpack containing easy-to-prepare, child-friendly food to help sustain them through the weekend. A designated school employee will load packs of food into children’s backpacks at the end of every week, then the process repeats itself each Friday through the school year. Among some of the items those packs contain are shelf-stable milk, tuna, peanut butter, Easy Mac, vegetables and fruit. Thanks to the generous support of ProBar, Utah Food Bank is also able to offer nutritous meal replacement bars as well.
Last year, Utah Food Bank filled over 60,000 backpacks with meals for hungry Utah children at 33 sites around the state. Without those meals, hundreds of children would have faced weekends where they might not have had enough to eat until the next Monday’s school breakfast!