• food bank

    The Food Bank of Delaware’s Backpack Program provides food to children (K-12; pre-k students are not eligible) in need for weekends and holidays when school is not in session and federal school meal programs are not available.

    Backpacks are stocked with kid-friendly, nutritious food including shelf-stable milk and juice, meals such as macaroni and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs and beef stew, granola bars, apple sauce, cereal and more.

    They are distributed on Fridays or the last day before a holiday or vacation in a discreet manner at Delaware school sites. More than 5,000 children participate each week. During the 2015-2016 school year we distributed 155,681 bags to at-risk children!

    To learn more about the Backpack Program, please contact Kerry O’Connell at koconnell@fbd.org  or (302) 292-1305 ext 232.

    Program Objectives:

    • Provide children at-risk of hunger with nutritious, easy-to-prepare food for preparation and consumption at home
    • Distribute food within safe sites that offer easy access to the children being served
    • Involve additional resources and partners in order to assure sustainability of the program

    Program Outcomes:

    • Reduce health problems in children served by mitigating negative consequences of under nutrition
    • Remove the barrier of hunger that contributes to poor school performance
    • Empower school personnel to take direct action to benefit hungry children
    • Increase awareness among parents and guardians of resources available to low-income families in their community
    • Increase awareness of positive nutrition to students’ families

    Food and informational flyers for the backpacks are packed by volunteers, and the Food Bank of Delaware delivers the bags to participating sites weekly. Site staff stores the bags in a secure area until distribution day. Bags are given to children in non-descript backpacks or they can carry their bag in their own backpack. Dependent upon availability, pencils, school supplies and small toys are also distributed in the take-home bags.

    It costs approximately $168 to provide one child with weekend and holiday food for a whole school year.  This includes the cost of food for each week, supplies, transportation and program administration. To sponsor a child, call Larry Haas, Development Director, at (302) 294-0185 or email him at lhaas@fbd.org.