Food 4 Kids Backpack Program #food4kidsSD
We have so many choices in life…
Most of which we are free to make on our own, some that are made out of necessity, and a few that are made for us. The majority of the choices made for us are during the beginning & ending of our lives, when we are most vulnerable. I’m thankful that I always had a lunch packed by my mom, dinner on the table, & that almost everyday I get to choose between Gala Apples, Anjou Pears or Navel Oranges for a morning snack. Some kids right now in San Diego would view my everyday occurrences as luxury. There are so many children who go hungry because they don’t have a choice!
San Diego’s food bloggers and other members of the local community are coming together to raise funds for the San Diego Food Bank’s Food 4 Kids Backpack Program by having a holiday drive & fundraiser! Take a look at the information below & if you can, please help out!
The San Diego Food Bank’s Food 4 Kids Backpack Program was launched in 2007 to provide food to get chronically hungry elementary school students through the weekend. Every Friday, participating children receive a backpack with child friendly items such as peanut butter, pop-top canned goods, cereal, juice boxes, fruit cups, raisins, pudding cups, granola bars, shelf-stable milk and macaroni and cheese tucked inside.
The children receive free or reduced cost meals while school is in session, but do not have food available on the weekends or school holidays for themselves and their siblings. Food 4 Kids provides food directly to the children, without requiring their parents to receive a referral to a local food pantry, pick up food at the pantry or prepare it at home.
In order to qualify for the program, students must attend a school where at least 80% of the population receives free or reduced cost lunch, and receive a referral from their teachers. During the 2008-2009 school year, the program served just 200 chronically hungry elementary school children in eight schools located throughout San Diego County. The need is much greater. As an example, the pilot program at one school in 2006 served 250 children alone.
The economy has been hard on all of us this year, but it has been hardest on those who were already struggling. Charitable donations are down, and hunger in San Diego County is up. Those of us who love food and view it as a pleasure are so fortunate to be in that position. The least we can do is try to ensure the children of our community don’t – quite literally – go hungry.
A little goes a long way – the program costs approximately $7.00 per week per child to fund, and a donation of $250.00 will fund a backpack for a child for the entire 36 week school year. Giving whatever you can afford will help to ensure this program continues to provide a much needed service.
As an added incentive, several food bloggers will be hosting prizes to be awarded in a drawing at our live food and backpack drive at our booth at the Little Italy Mercato on December 12, 2009.
All donors on the Firstgiving page will be eligible to win prizes sponsored by local businesses (ours is above), bloggers and individuals. We will also be collecting non-perishable, child-friendly food items and backpacks. Come and meet your favorite food bloggers, drop off your donations and celebrate the Holidays at the Mercato!
Prizes & participating bloggers will be posted here tomorrow: aliceqfoodie blog
Suggested donation items:
- A medium-sized neutral design backpack, preferably red in color.
- Toothbrush and kids toothpaste
- Coloring books
- School supplies (pencils, paper, pencil sharpeners, markers, crayons)
- Nutritious kid-friendly foods, such as fruit roll ups, granola bars, boxed packaged food items like cereal, crackers, nutrition bars, pop top canned goods such as applesauce or other fruit, ready made macaroni and cheese and other easy convenient items.
Thank you so much for your contribution, and Happy, Happy Holidays! We’re Thankful!
Want to join the conversation? Search #food4kidsSD on Twitter or click here
Thank you to Alice Q Foodie & Caron Golden for heading this up & all the food bloggers and foodies who are contributing!