Teachers and school nurses across the state are finding that in too many instances, Monday morning comes and they are forced to compete against hunger for the attention of their students. More than 80,000 Maine children qualify for free or reduced price meals through the National School Lunch Program. These meals are the fuel they need to get them through the week. What happens to these children when they go home over the weekend?
Good Shepherd Food Bank's BackPack Program provides children who are suffering the effects of chronic hunger with nutritious, easy-to-prepare food to eat during weekends and school vacations when those crucial school meals are unavailable. For just $250 a year per student, we are able to provide at least one source of grain, fruit, vegetable, and protein through a variety of staple meal items, breakfast foods, and healthy snacks in discreet, resealable bags.
In 2010, the Food Bank began the BackPack Program as a pilot, working in partnership with the Junior League of Portland to ensure its success. By the end of 2012 we had expanded into 18 elementary schools, reaching over 500 food insecure children each week.
For more information on Good Shepherd Food Bank's BackPack Program please contact Shannon Coffin, Program Manager, at (207) 782.3554 ext. 1163 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special thanks to our School Heroes: