Now that the children are back to school, ReSources Vail Food Bank announces the “Fill A Backpack” campaign, aimed at ensuring that every child has food to nourish body and mind over the weekends.
On school days, children who qualify for free meals eat breakfast and lunch at school. For local area children most in need, no school meals over the weekend means going without meals or eating less than the recommended number of calories. To address this real problem, ReSources partners with the Vail School District to help identify children who are experiencing food insecurity and who would benefit from additional nutritional support over the weekend. With parent permission, children receive a weekend meal “backpack.”
This program is an effort to assist the physical, cognitive, and social development of children in the community. According to Feeding America “Not having enough healthy food can have serious implications for a child’s physical and mental health, academic achievement and future economic prosperity.” This community effort to feed hungry children will mitigate these devastating effects.
Food backpacks are prepared and delivered to each school in our district. Food packing is done by local students in the Transition School to Work Program (TSW), who are developing skills they can use in the workplace. Volunteers from St. Rita’s in The Desert pick up and deliver the backpacks to all corners of the district, providing each school with number of bags needed.
The weekly food backpacks include 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners, milk, fruit juice, fruit cup and 3 snacks. ReSources also provide a weekly food backpack when the family visits the food bank during Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter school breaks. An effort is made to connect the children’s families with our other food bank services to ensure additional food support.
Last school year the Weekend Backpack Program grew 110%, ending the year severing 330 children per week. We have started the 2023-24 school year serving 335 children and we expect the need to grow to 400 by the end of 2023.
This is where we need your help! Please help support this critical program by donating to “Fill A Backpack” and providing a child in your community the food they need over the weekend. Your support will provide stabilized nutrition for the most vulnerable children in our community and ensure that every child who qualifies will receive a weekend food backpack. You can choose to sponsor a child’s food backpack for a week, a month or make a donation of any amount you wish.
By Callie Tippett
Callie Tippett is the Director of Development & Community Outreach for Greater Vail Community ReSources. She moved to Vail in 2002 and serves as a Governing Board member in VUSD. She is focused on supporting children and families in Vail.