How is the BackPack Weekend Food Program funded?
Each school is partnered with a local church or community organization that has agreed to fund the program for at least one year. The BWFP buys the food wholesale through a bulk food purchasing source. The church or community organization, in turn, is responsible for purchasing the food from the BWFP and providing the bins for storage and transport of the food bags to their partnered school each week.
A registered dietician has designed nutritionally-balanced menus for both elementary and middle/high school aged children. Once a month, food is purchased by the BWFP coordinator for all the BWFP partners. In turn, the partners will receive, via e-mail an invoice for their order. BWFP partners are then responsible for picking up their monthly food order from a central location, packing the food bags for each student, and delivering the food bags in bins weekly to their designated school. Students receive the food bags at the end of the school week. Students receive food bags each weekend that school is in session. However, the BWFP does not supply food during extended school holidays and the summer.
The BWFP provides children in need with a plastic bag of nonperishable, individually-portioned, nutritionally-balanced food to take home in their backpacks on the weekend when school meals are not available. Those students most likely to be hungry on the weekend are identified by school counselors, social workers, teachers, school nurses, and principals. Permission to participate in the program must be given by the child’s parent or guardian and any allergies are identified.
How are the menus for the BackPack Weekend Food Program determined?
A registered dietician has carefully calculated the caloric and nutritional needs of children in elementary, middle and high school. Daily menus, based on the dietician’s recommendation, include milk, protein, fruit, vegetables and grains. Nonperishable foods are then selected within a predetermined budget. Identified allergies are managed on a case by case basis under the guidance of the dietician.