This article describes how the Backpack Program model works, much like it does for the 72 children in Ballard schools and 650 (and growing!) children in Lake Washington School District we provide funds to support. When Feed Washington refocused its approach, in the fall of 2014, to meet the needs of one neighborhood, one school, one child at a time - the Backpack Programs through Ballard Food Bank and later, Hopelink Pantry Packs were growing fast and in demand.
The article mentions how other Seattle neighborhoods "...hope to expand them (the backpack programs) to more schools," and that's exactly what we did! Ballard support started in 2014 and Lake Washington School District (LWSD) support started in 2015. We raise the funds, designate them specifically to the backpack programs and the professionals at the food banks mobilize volunteers to get the food into all those backpacks at schools!
Now, in 2016, we continue to be able to provide this vital funding in Ballard due to our faithful, recurring donors. The same is true for LWSD, but since the need is greater (read the 2015-16 School Year Hopelink Pantry Pack report here) we will still need more recurring donors to continue to serve the estimated 650+ students identified as needing weekend food packs for the 2016-17 school year.
We will be working hard this summer to get ready for another campaign in the fall 2016 to ensure we have all the needed funding secured so all the LWSD students who need weekly, weekend food are able to get it. We'll be posting updates here on our site and on our Facebook page.
If you'd like to donate now, you can still do so on our current campaign page here.