The Backpack Program provides food insecure children, pre-K through 5th grade, with three nutritious meals a day, every weekend, and over every school break.
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. The Backpack Program ensures that when the bell rings on Friday until our kids go back to school on Monday morning, they have something good to eat so that they are happy, healthy, and ready to learn.
“We are able to see energy levels, alertness, behavior and academics improve within the school setting”
NHCS Social Worker
kids fed weekly through Backpack Program
How Does It Work?
- Children are referred by school personnel, pediatricians, and our community partners including other child-centered nonprofits and community social workers. Children are then enrolled by New Hanover County School social workers or family counselors. Children who are designated as “McKinney-Vento” (homeless) or on the free school lunch program are given first priority.
- NourishNC uses your donations to help strategically develop a wide variety of kid-friendly, nutritious, non-perishable weekend food menus. Each menu contains 8 meals, 6 snacks/sides, and juice or milk.
- NourishNC’s army of volunteers pack and deliver food bags to schools across New Hanover County.
- School personnel discreetly place the food bag in the child’s backpack.
- Kids eat nutritious food all weekend so when they show up to school on Monday morning they are happy, healthy, and ready to learn!