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BackPack Program

Our Child Nutrition Programs serve children who qualify for free or reduced lunches during the school year, but often do not have consistent meals when not in school. Children are given a ‘backpack’ of food each Friday to ensure their nutritional needs are met over the weekend.

America’s Second Harvest of the Big Bend started the Backpack program nearly eight years ago with one school site. The program has since grown to 11 sites in six counties, serving more than 800 at-risk children each week who rely on school breakfasts and lunches for their meals. Without our assistance, these children may go hungry over the weekend, returning to school distracted and not functioning at their full potential.

The program provides bags of food every week to children in Leon, Gadsden, Madison, Wakulla, Jackson and Taylor counties through 11 partner sites. Each bag includes six components: milk, protein, ready-to-eat, fruit, vegetable and grain. 

Surveys are collected both at the beginning and the end of the school year from the children participating, parents of children participating, and teachers of those children. We look to the survey results for feedback on how to improve the program the following school year.

Our surveys of teachers and students participating in the Backpack Program indicate an increase in attendance, alertness, attention span and improved behavior.  Also, overall health and weight gain is seen as a significant improvement. 

No federal funding exists for this program, therefore, the number of children we are able to serve each school year is dependent on how much money we are able to raise.

In calendar year 1015, We distributed 127,473 pounds of food, or 106,228 meals, through our BackPack Program. 

Click here to fill out a BackPack program interest form.

BackPack Manual:

Permission Form:

Surveys: