The Center for Targeted Populations

Kids Weekend Backpack Feeding Program

The Kids Weekend Backpack Feeding Program provides packs of nutritious, shelf-stable food in 28 schools to more than 1,700 children on a weekly basis.  These children rely on school lunches and breakfasts, but may not have solid meals on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays (when school is out). The packs contain four nutritious and ready-to-eat meals, two snacks and two servings of milk and juice. In addition, before holiday weeks (e.g., winter and spring breaks), twice as many food packs are delivered to cover the students for the weekend they are not in school. The food packs are distributed with newsletters that include age-appropriate, multilingual games and puzzles encouraging healthy eating, plus information for parents about local food resources.

This food affords these children the opportunity to return to school nourished and better equipped to learn, socialize and excel. Island Harvest Food Bank launched the Kids Weekend Backpack Feeding Program in October 2006; in its first year, we distributed 10,158 packs to help 460 program participants. During the 2017/2018 school year, approximately 62,500  packs of food will be distributed to more than 1,700 students—bringing thousands of weekend/holiday meals to children who otherwise would go without. Our sites are located within 11 school districts, including schools in Bay Shore, Brentwood, Bridgehampton, Brookhaven, Central Islip, Copiague, Elmont, Lawrence, Riverhead, Westbury, and Wyandanch).

We are proud of the program’s growth and the impact it is making in the lives of so many kids and their families!

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This program is sponsored in part through generous grants from: