The Weekend Survival Kits are intended to meet the nutritional needs of children during non-school hours, specifically on weekends. It targets children who receive free or reduced price breakfast or lunch at school through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and/or School Breakfast Program (SBP). To learn more about these programs CLICK HERE. While it seems unlikely that children in Mid-Michigan would go to bed hungry on weekends, in reality, many children deal with hunger. Ultimately this program aims to keep students from going hungry on the weekends and remove barriers to academic success.
According to National Poverty Center, almost one in four children live in poverty. When children have enough healthy food to eat, they are absent from school less, their tests scores improve, their behavior improves, and they are far healthier overall.
The contents of the Back Packs vary from month to month. The food needs to be kid-friendly, nutritious, easy to prepare, and individually portioned.
Some examples of commonly included items are:
- Boxes of macaroni & cheese
- Individual apple sauce
- Jar of peanut butter
- Canned vegetables
- Pasta with protein
- Oatmeal packets
- Granola Bars
- Pudding Cups
- Fruit snacks
- Sleeve of Crackers
- Canned Soup
The kits are put together, assembly-line style, by volunteer groups from the community. The kits contain enough servings for FOUR breakfasts, FOUR lunches, SIX dinners and two to three snacks. These kits are delivered every other week and our goal is to provide enough food in one kit to last for TWO WEEKENDS.
Food is placed in a 2 gallon ziplock bag and then, in some cases, placed in a plastic grocery bag, which is then sent out for delivery to the various schools. Volunteers deliver the food to the schools two Fridays a month.
The Back Packs are assembled by volunteers, transported by volunteers, stored by volunteers and delivered by volunteers. After packing the BackPacks will look very similar to these pictures: