The FAKH BackPack Program started in 2006 with just one participating county. During that first year, 60 students received food for the weekend throughout the school year. Since then the program has grown tremendously. There are now over 6,000 children in 34 Kentucky counties who benefit from this program and the food it provides.
The purpose of the BackPack Program is to provide at-risk children with a stable food source for the weekend; a time when they are most likely to go hungry. Due to the lack of resources many of their families face, these children often rely on the meals they are able to get at school for most of their nutritional needs. Unfortunately, when these meals aren’t available their families struggle to provide the food necessary for an active, healthy life.
Through this program, children who are identified as “in-need” by teachers and family resource coordinators are provided with a bag of food at the end of each week during the school year. Each bag typically contains 14-17 easy-to-prepare, kid-friendly food items such as fruit cups, cereal, peanut butter crackers, and oatmeal. The bag is placed discreetly in the child’s backpack at the end of each week. The BackPack program began in Hardin County and has spread to 34 of the 42 Kentucky counties we serve.
Our hope is that the BackPack Program will not only provide a reliable source of weekend food for these children and their families, but that it will also allow them be more successful in school. Studies have shown that children who lack proper nutrition have a harder time learning because they are constantly focused on the pains from their empty stomach. By giving them the resources to come to school with a full belly, we are also giving them the resources to come to school ready to learn and be more successful.
You can be a part of this program and help fight child hunger by making a donation to a program near you. CLICK HERE to make a donation today!