I was amazed to read about how hunger affects children close to my home, in Suffolk County, which is served by the Greater Boston Food Bank. 19.6% of children in the county, or 26,640 children below the age of 18 live in food insecure households.
Throughout the United States, nearly 49 million Americans, including more than 16 million children, are food insecure, meaning they live at risk of hunger. Feeding America is the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity. Feeding America, together with 200 food banks across the United States, each year, serves 37 million Americans who are facing hunger.
The Feeding America BackPack Program
The mission of the BackPack Program is to meet the needs of hungry children by providing them with nutritious and easy-to-prepare food to take home on weekends and school vacations when other resources are not available. In addition to providing nutritious food to school children in need, some BackPack programs provide extra food for younger siblings at home and some programs operate during the summer months.
All Feeding America BackPack programs are operated through member food banks. Each food bank may adapt their program to best meet the needs of their community, while still upholding certain outlined standards and guidelines. Use the Food Locator to contact your local food bank. Click here for more information on the Back Pack Program.
“Pack ‘til They’re Back!”
This is an effort by Feeding America and their network of more than 200 food banks to:
- Ensure that children at risk of hunger have plenty to eat over the long Thanksgiving break.
- Bring attention to the fact that more than 16 million children live in food insecure household in the United States.
- Promote Feeding America’s BackPack Program to the public to garner support and donations to expand the program to reach more kids.
What’s in a Back Pack
The Feeding America food banks and partner agencies provide food that is easy to prepare and shelf stable. Here is a list of foods items that you would find in a back pack:
- breakfast bars
- beef stew
- Vienna sausage
- sunflower seeds
- apple, grape or orange juice
- diced apple fruit cups
- mixed fruit cups
- sliced pears
How We Can Help
We can help Feeding America in the following ways:
- Donate money at Feeding America.org.
- Visit Feeding America and like and share videos with friends and family.
- Donate and volunteer at our local food bank.
- Start a food drive in our communities.