Send Hunger Packing
The Send Hunger Packing Program provides food to chronically hungry school children from low-income households who are at risk of hunger over the weekend when free school meals are unavailable.
Backpacks are distributed on Fridays or the last day before a holiday or Healthy Kids Clubs, etc. Food and informational flyers for the backpacks are packed by volunteers. Backpacks are stored at sites 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, hygiene items and small toys are also distributed in the take-home bags.
• Provide children at-risk of hunger and their immediate family members 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
• 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
HOW ARE CHILDREN SELECTED FOR THE PROGRAM?
Counselors, teachers and nurses identify students who display signs of chronic hunger. Warning signs include stomach aches, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, hoarding food from the cafeteria and absenteeism.
Once identified by a school teacher or nurse, the student’s parents are sent a permission slip to enroll the student in the program.
WHAT FOOD ITEMS ARE INCLUDED IN THE BACKPACK?
Items include peanut butter; canned tuna, chicken, or turkey; skillet meals; macaroni and cheese; soup; canned vegetables and fruit; cereal or oatmeal; Food for 4 family members for 7 meals are packed in the bags.
HOW MANY SITES CURRENTLY PARTICIPATE?
• Care and Share had 19 sites enrolled for the 2010/2011 school year in the following locations:
o D-60 (11 sites)
o D-70 (2 sites)
o Eastside Boys and Girls Club
o Avondale Boys and Girls Club
o Sprague Boys and Girls Club
o Ordway Methodist Church
o Rocky Ford Schools
HOW CAN I HELP FUND A CHILD OR SCHOOL ON THE PROGRAM?
It costs approximately $270 to provide one child with weekend and holiday food for a whole school year. This includes the cost of the backpack, food for each week, supplies, transportation and program administration. To sponsor a child, call Stacy Poore, Chief Development Officer, at (719) 434-4679 or email him at Stacy@careandshare.org .
HOW DO I BECOME A SITE?
For more information about becoming a Send Hunger Packing site, please contact Jennifer Mariano, Programs Director at 719-434-4676 or Jennifer@careandshare.org