Our Backpack for Kids Program is designed to fight childhood hunger by supplying meals in take-home “backpacks” to school-aged children at several local schools. Students are identified by their participation in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), through which they receive free and reduced lunches during the school week (Monday through Friday). The Community Campus Pantry feeds children at three area schools, and two of our member pantries – Canton Calvary Mission and Sherrick Road Church of God – also run a Backpack for Kids Program.
Many children in Stark County receive free and reduced meals through the National School Lunch Program. In fact, 46% of students enrolled in Stark County schools – public, private, and charter – participate in this program.*
But within the schools we serve, the need is even higher. 82% of all the children who attend school at the five elementary schools we serve receive free or reduced lunch. *
Gibbs Elementary (Canton City Schools): 99.61%*
Allen Elementary (Canton City Schools): 96.39%*
Cedar Elementary (Canton City Schools): 89.32%*
Franklin Elementary (Massillon City Schools): 81.34%*
Taft Elementary (Plain Local Schools): 57.02%*
*All percentages collected from the Ohio Department of Education NSLP Reporting Data for 2013
What about the weekend? If these children are in need Monday through Friday, is there a need for Saturday and Sunday?
Of course there is a need for weekend meals – that is why we focus on these times, when the children are not receiving their free and reduced lunches. Our Backpack for Kids Program places security in these children’s hands through “backpacks” full of meals. We supply two nutritious breakfasts, two lunches, and two snacks, which are distributed by the school on Fridays. Each month, SCHTF serves packs to 2,200 children, making their weekend healthier and even a little brighter.
The Backpack for Kids Program not only helps these Stark County children come back to school on Monday better prepared to learn and concentrate — it means they can focus on being a kid on the weekend, instead of wondering if and when they will be able eat.
But we need your help to serve them.
You can make a difference in the lives of 25% of our neighboring children who are hungry – and you can do it today by supporting the Backpack for Kids Program. Donate today.
If you or your company would like to sponsor the Backpack for Kids Program, please contact Amy Weisbrod at 330-455-6667 ext. 2809, or by email via email@example.com. The SCHTF has received requests from other local elementary schools to be part of the program, which we would love to include, but we need your help to do it!