BackPack Program seeks donations

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SUPERIOR SCHOOL’S BackPack program sends nutritious meals home to students over the weekend, including fruits, vegetables, cereal and milk. The BackPack program is currently accepting donations during Fight Childhood Hunger Week. (File photo)

According to the Montana Food Bank Network, nearly 1 in 6 children in Montana live in a food-insecure household. That means 42,480 children in Montana may not know where their next meal is going to come from.

The BackPack Program, started by the Montana Food Bank Network in 2006, works with 124 schools across Montana, reaching over 4,000 students. The program discreetly places food in the backpacks of previously identified students every week. The food sent home is easy-to-prepare, shelf-stable foods to last the weekend and holidays when school meals are not available.

The Backpack Program at Superior School District currently serves 75. In addition, the program also distributes extra food/hygiene items purchased using grant funding and donations. This food helps stretch rations at home during out of school times, vacations and breaks.

BackPack Jersey Day is a fundraiser developed to raise the funds needed to continue this essential program throughout the year. Just a $5 donation is enough to send food home one weekend for one student. While a $160 donation can provide for that student for every weekend and holiday for the entire school year. The fundraiser is happening statewide this year on Friday, April 19, 2019 at the end of Montana’s Fight Childhood Hunger Week.

To get involved in the fundraiser participants are asked to make a donation to the BackPack Program in their community at mfbn.org/backpackjerseyday. Then on Friday, April 19, wear their favorite team jersey or sports clothing to show their support for the community. Anyone can get involved!

“We are inviting community members to get their workplace, social groups, churches, and any other groups in the community involved to help the BackPack Program in this community meet their financial goals and keep the program sustainable through the end of the school year and beyond.” Gayle Carlson, CEO Montana Food Bank Network.

“The BackPack Program makes such a difference at Superior Schools. Kids come back from the weekend ready to learn! Attendance has increased and distractions in the classrooms have decreased. This program is a vital resource to allow all the students to learn and thrive.”

For additional information on the BackPack Program or Jersey Day you can visit mfbn.org or contact Stephanie Stratton, Chief Program’s officer at Montana Food Bank Network at 406-215-1772.

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