Backpack Buddies

1 in 7 South Carolina students go to school hungry. These same students would be hungry on the weekend without the help of Backpack Buddies.

Getting Started

  • Work with the school guidance counselor or social worker. They will determine the number of food bags needed at the school.
  • Consider partnering with other churches in your community if there is a great need. Each participating church could choose one week each month to provide food bags.
  • Determine how you will meet the need. You have three options: 1) Partner with your local food bank to purchase the food items or pre-packaged bags of food. 2) Purchase food and package each week. 3) Supplement your purchased food with planned monthly collections from the church.
  • Plan on shopping in bulk and putting food in gallon Zip-lock bags. Involve church ministry groups in packing the bags.
  • Pray over the bags and deliver them to the school so that they can be discreetly put in students’ backpacks.
  • Minister to the families receiving the bags at Thanksgiving or Christmas. To learn more about what churches are doing, contact [email protected]

What To Include

  • Each bag typically includes 12-14 items that could be eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Snacks are also included.
  • Breakfast: Individual packages of oatmeal, grits, muffins, or cereal; shelf stable milk.
  • Lunch & Dinner: Individual pasta (ravioli and Spaghetti O’s); individually packaged cans of vegetables (green beans, carrots, peas) and fruits (applesauce, peaches, fruit cocktail); individually packaged pasta dinners with sauce; macaroni and cheese; Vienna sausages; canned meats; soups; pork & beans.
  • Snack Items: Fruit roll-up/fruit snacks; crackers; granola bars/cereal bars; dried fruit (raisins); beef jerky/sticks; individual juice boxes.

Cost

  • Harvest Hope Food Bank provides bags with 5 meals for $6.
  • Churches who purchase food spend between $5-8 per bag.
  • The cost can be much lower with monthly food donations from church members.

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