The Island Harvest Kids Weekend Backpack Feeding Program is designed to supplement meals on the weekends for children, who depend on school breakfasts and lunches, during the week. Every Friday during the school year (September- June), Island Harvest supplies children who are food insecure with packs of nutritious, shelf-stable food; each pack contains – enough for two lunches, two breakfasts, two snacks, and two servings of milk.
In addition to food, the packs include semi-annual newsletters with multi-lingual information to help parents find available community resources, nutrition, health and fitness tips, and other fun and information for parents and children alike.
Island Harvest Food Bank launched the Kids Weekend Backpack Feeding Program in October 2006; it its first year, we distributed 450 packs to help our first program participants. During the 2012/13 school year, the Kids Weekend Backpack Feeding Program distributed 44,535 food packs to 1,695 kids. This is a nearly 400% increase since the program began.
We are proud of the program’s growth and the salient difference it now makes in the lives of so many kids and their families now.
During the 2014 – 2015 school year 26 schools from 7 school districts have participated in the program (including schools in Brentwood, Central Islip, Elmont, Riverhead, Roosevelt, and Westbury, South Country). By the end of the school year, we will have distributed more than 57,000 food packs through this program.
This program is sponsored in part through generous grants from: