Backpack Program

The Backpack Program is specifically designed for K-5 children.

Without access to free or reduced school lunch, many children struggle with hunger over the weekend. For these children, the weekend is often viewed with anxiety and apprehension over what they will eat. Children who lack access to nutritious foods over the weekend then show up to school suffering from dizziness, nausea, and have difficulty concentrating. Behavioral issues often go hand in hand with these complaints. The Backpack Program was thus created to ensure our kids show up to school Monday morning happy, healthy, ready and able to learn.

The Backpack Program is specifically designed for K-5 children. These children receive 8 meals, 6 healthy snacks, milk or juice and fresh produce (apples, oranges, sweet potatoes, etc.) every weekend. Backpacks are delivered to the schools where social workers or family counselors then discreetly put the food bags into the children’s backpacks. For all school breaks (Summer, Spring, Holiday) NourishNC also provides all children on our program with at least 3 meals a day, healthy snacks, juice, milk and fresh produce. We call these “Break Boxes.”

Here are a few fun facts about our backpacks:

  • The 8+ meals & snacks are dietician reviewed by our friends at New Hanover Regional Medical Center
  • All the items are kid-approved, easy-to-open, and on a rotating menu so the kids actually EAT the food
  • The bags are black for discretion and go into the backpacks while children are out of the class. Many children themselves don’t realize they are on our program
  • We include no branding or logos so the children don’t know they are getting food from a non-profit
  • We ensure the bags stay under 6 pounds. 4 and 5-year-olds can’t carry a heavy backpack!
  • We purchase more expensive versions of things like the veggie cups because the cheap ones bust. Nobody wants smushed veggies in their bag!
  • We ship 650+ bags a week to 26 different schools
  • We often add “extras” like toiletries, dental hygiene supplies, winter hats and gloves, school supplies, healthy & easy recipes, and information on community resources.
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