Backpack Program


backpackWhile some children are still going through their Halloween trick or treat bags looking over all the treats they managed to obtain, other children are relying on a different kind of bag. Not for treats but for snacks and meals essential to them having something to eat between lunch at school to breakfast the next school day. These bags are provided by a Back Pack Program.

This program provides children with a back pack that contains a breakfast item, a snack, a meal, and a fruit. This program started in the spring of 2011-2012 after teachers were inspired by stories from children about how there isn’t food in their homes and the teachers observing students inhaling their food on Mondays.

 

 

According to Shelia Berger, principal at Sumner school in Austin, they currently have 42 backpacks and are seeing the need grow every year. Their free/reduced lunch program helps close to 80% of their children but there are also children living in a gap where they do not qualify for support yet are struggling to provide food for their families.

Shelia also stated “One of the things that is so critical to academic success, is to relieve the stress that our hungry students carry.  For the students that are worried about their next opportunity to eat, concentration is diminished.  We know that education is the key to great independency in life, yet for many being able to focus and learn is compromised because they are hungry.  With food-secure individuals they are able to focus on learning the essential school skills”.  With the support of the United Way, fundraisers, and community members for this program, children can concentrate on learning and worry less about where their next meal might be.

Kristine Tucke, RN

Tanya Fure, RN

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