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BLESSINGS IN A BACKPACK
Most people can’t wait for the weekend. Kids at risk of hunger can’t wait for it to be over.
Did you know more than 12 million kids in America won’t have enough food to eat this weekend? That’s one in five kids who will eat meals at school during the week but is without access to affordable, nutritious food on Saturday and Sunday. The consequences are much more than a growling stomach. Hunger can cause many physical health problems. It can also shorten a child’s attention span, lower their IQ, and keep them from making good grades.
Vision - Every school-aged child in America has the nourishment needed to learn and grow. As a leader in the movement to end childhood hunger, Blessings strives to ensure children don't go hungry on the weekends by empowering individuals and communities to take action.
Mission - Blessings in a Backpack mobilizes communities, individuals, and resources to provide food on the weekends for elementary school children across America who might otherwise go hungry.
To ensure the kids in your community have full bellies over the weekend, Blessings in a Backpack sends them home on Fridays with backpacks full of satisfying and nutritional food. Who will feed the kids this weekend? We will!
As a leader in the movement to end childhood hunger, Blessings strives to ensure children don't go hungry on the weekends by empowering individuals and communities to take action. Blessings in a Backpack provides weekend nutrition for elementary school children across America who may otherwise have little or no food to eat on weekends during the school year. Each Friday of the school year, thousands of volunteers across the country at more than 1,000 program locations send a bag of food home with children who may face hunger that weekend. Blessings and our dedicated volunteers will provide more than 3 million hunger-free weekends for 87,000 children this school year.
- 84 percent of food insecure households report buying the cheapest food—instead of healthy food—in order to provide enough to eat. (Source: Feeding America.)
- An unhealthy diet negatively impacts a child’s well-being, often resulting in chronic health and behavioral issues and interferes with the ability to learn at school. For these reasons, food solutions offered through the national program at Blessings in a Backpack emphasize providing the best nutrition possible for the money spent on food.
- Our menus provide 6-8 items that are convenient and portable sources of fuel and energy that the kids can serve themselves.
- Serving children in 45 U.S. states and Washington, D.C.
- More than 12 million children in the United States live in "food insecure" homes, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
- Across the country, one in six children is food insecure.
- Food insecurity means that children don’t always have enough to eat. Children may receive smaller portions that they need, adults in the household are not able to afford more nutrition food options, or children skip meals at home.
- Across the country, 21 million kids depend on the meals they receive through their school’s free and reduced-price meal program, but what happens when school closes its doors on Friday? Who will feed the kids this weekend?
- When school dismisses on Fridays, more than 12 million children will leave their classroom, uncertain whether they will have enough food to eat that weekend.
- Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
- For a more comprehensive understanding of food insecurity, please see the USDA’s annual report on Household Food Security in the United States.
- Children who struggle with hunger are sick more, recover slowly, and are hospitalized more frequently.
- Source: Children’s Health Watch
- Undernourished children don’t learn as fast or as well as nourished children.
- Source: National Institutes of Health
- Young people who grew up hungry are less like to graduate from high school.
- Source: National Commission on Hunger. Freedom from Hunger: An Achievable Goal for the United States of America. 15.
- “Hungry teens are more likely than their regularly-fed peers to contemplate suicide and have other mental-health problems.”
- Source: Deruy, Emily. “5 Things You Didn’t Know About Hunger in America.” The Atlantic. 6 January 2016.
- “In the United States more than half of hungry households are white, and two-thirds of those with children have at least one working adult—typically in a full-time job.”
- Source: McMillian, Tracie. The New Face of Hunger. National Geographic Magazine. 16 July 2014.