The Weekend Hunger Backpack Program was designed to supplement meals for children, who depend on their school for breakfast and lunch, during the school week. The program identifies chronically hungry children who are in need of nutritional assistance over the weekend. Volunteers fill the backpacks during the week to be taken home on Friday with enough food for the child and their siblings for the weekend. In Alachua County, one in four children don’t have enough food to eat each day. Lack of access to a nutritious and adequate food supply has implications not only for the development of physical and mental disease, but also behavior and social skills. Food insecurity has been linked with diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular problems, higher levels of anxiety and aggression. It has also been correlated with slower development of social skills.
Our program strives to reverse these consequences by providing over 700 children each week with the food they need to be healthy, happy and successful.
On average, it costs about $6.00 to feed a child over the weekend.