Weekend Backpack Program


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Weekend Backpack Program

  1. 1. Weekend Backpack Program
  2. 2. WCFB is a member of the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity
  3. 3. WCFB Mission Our Mission is to enable all Westmoreland County residents who are hungry or at risk of hunger to have ready access to food
  4. 4. The History of the Backpack Program The idea of sending backpacks home started at the Arkansas Rice Depot when a school nurse in the area noticed an above average number of students coming to her with complaints of upset stomachs and dizziness. It was determined that the students were not really sick, but hungry. The local food bank started giving out bags at the school and with a need to continue, the backpack program began. Today more than 110 Food Banks participate and as many as 35,000 backpacks are distributed weekly in the United States.
  5. 5. The Backpack Program’s Mission 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. The Program Objectives • Provide nutritious, healthy food to children at-risk of hunger for preparation and consumption at their place of residence • Distribute food discreetly in easily accessible and safe environments • To involve additional resources and partners in order to assure sustainability of the program
  6. 6. How children qualify for this program Children who receive free or reduced price lunches through the schools are eligible to participate in this program. We also work with teachers and school personnel to identify chronically hungry children. These are children who are not receiving sufficient food on a regular basis. A chronically hungry student may not necessarily tell you that he or she doesn’t have enough food at home. The following indicators are used in determnining chronic hunger: Anxious for meals to be served May rush to the cafeteria line or show up early for breakfast Will eat anything placed before them Extreme hunger every Monday morning Lingers around food and asks for seconds May try to “stash” or “pocket” food on Fridays to store up for the weekend stash” pocket” Excessive absences (unexcused or due to sickness) Difficulty in forming friendships Hyperactive, aggressive, and irritable, or withdrawn, distressed, and passive distressed, Excessive sickness—sore throat, common cold, stomach ache, ear infection, fatigue sickness— Short attention span, inability to concentrate
  7. 7. A typical backpack includes some variation of a protein (pasta in sauce, or stew), canned fruits (applesauce or mixed fruit), and other nutritional foods such as cereal bars, individual boxes of cereal, fruit juice, macaroni and cheese, crackers and soup.
  8. 8. How the Backpack Program works Once a month volunteers come to the Food Bank to pack bags with the child friendly, nutritious food. Most of the food is purchased through Westmoreland County Food Bank due to the Backpack Program’s lack of a national or local funding stream. Grants & donations play a major factor in the sustainablilty of this program. Once the bags are filled, they are packed in boxes and ready for monthly deliveries to the after school programs. Each child receives a bag in their backpack each week as they head home following their education program on Friday.
  9. 9. Many dedicated volunteers help pack the backpacks each month at the food bank.
  10. 10. Outcome surveys are utilized to assess the quality of the program to be sure the objectives are being met. Teachers and schools have informally reported improvement in test scores and positive behavior gains.
  11. 11. Three Sites Currently In Operation New Kensington- Salvation Army After School Program Vandergrift- Salvation Army After School Program Jeannette- JAYS After School Program Sponsorships are needed in order to be able to expand and offer this valuable program to other needy children throughout the county. The children in Westmoreland County need your help!!
  12. 12. How can you help? Due to a vast need that continues to increase, sponsors are desired that can dedicate at least two years of funding support for this program. We strive to continue with expansion efforts as we maintain funding support for the current sites. How unfortunate would it be for a child to come to pick up their backpack that is not able to be filled? These children are the future!
  13. 13. Sponsorship Opportunities The average cost per child: One child per week----- $ 4.00 One child per month--- $ 16.00 One child per year------ $192.00 Expansion is based on 25 children per site. Food, supplies & administrative costs are taken into consideration. Expansion Sponsorship for 2 years= $30,000
  14. 14. Food/Fund Drives Listed below are the most needed items packed in the backpacks each week. Please note that these are single serve items that can be prepared with minimal adult supervision. Pop-Top items work best! 100% Fruit Juice Single Serve Meals Healthy Snacks Fruit Cups/Applesauce Spaghetti & Meatballs Crackers Pudding Cups Ravioli, Beefaroni Granola Bars Ind. Cereal Boxes Beef Stew Pretzels Cereal Bars Soups/Ramen Noodles Trail Mix Pop Tarts Mac n Cheese Raisins Download our Food Drive Packet It contains everything you need to conduct a successful Food Drive! For more information on conducting a food drive to benefit WCFB, please contact: Louise Wilhelm at (724) 468-8660 ext. 13 or louise@westmorelandfoodbank.org
  15. 15. Help feed our future!
  16. 16. WCFB benefits from donations to the Community Impact Fund For more information Contact: Michelle Heller/Program Coordinator 100 Devonshire Drive Delmont, PA 15626-1607 724.468.8660 ext 25 www.westmorelandfoodbank.org THANK YOU!