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WHAT IS A BACKPACK FOOD PROGRAM? 

HISTORY:

The first backpack food program began in 1995. The program was developed in Little Rock, Arkansas out of the concern of a school nurse who was seeing a large number of children in her clinic tired, sick, and falling behind in class because of hunger and food scarcity in their homes. She approached her local food bank, the Arkansas Rice Depot, to help her address the problem. Together they launched the Food for Kids program which provided food for kids discretely in bags or backpacks to take home during the weekends when school meals were unavailable. Today, there are thousands of backpack food programs across the country serving thousands of children. 

FEEDING HANDS BACKPACK PROGRAM: 

The Feeding Hands Backpack Program is a community based feeding program hosted by True Divine Community Development, managed and ran by volunteers, sustained by fundraisers, generous donations of community members in partnership with True Divine Baptist Church, the Montgomery Public School, Montgomery Area Food Bank, TCU Consulting and Smoothie King.

Every backpack food program is unique to the community and school it serves.   Feeding Hands Backpack Program provide a bag of nonperishable food to children in need.  The child will take the food home and eat when school meal programs are unavailable.

The bags are distributed at Brewbaker Primary School to 200 (4,800 meals monthly which include school holidays) participating children in plastic or reusable bags by volunteers or their teacher as they leave Friday or before a long break.   Depending on the type of school or age of the students, food may also be distributed at the school office or in another central location inside or outside of the school.  Note:  The contents of the bag can vary depending on the food and donations available.

TYPES OF FOOD PROVIDED:

Enough food will be provided to program participants to replace the meals that the child would receive at school (e.g. two breakfast options, two lunch options, two snack options, one can of fruit, and one can of vegetables).  Federal reimbursement is not available for the food provided by backpack food programs.   For additional information regarding Feeding Hands or information on how you can volunteer, become a sponsor, or make donations contact Pam Williams at 334-286-4008.

Non-perishable food items for backpack:

  • Crackers (sleeve of crackers – Ritz or Saltines)
  • Peanut butter (small jar)
  • Grits (individual packets)
  • Oatmeal (individual packets)
  • Beans and Franks (pop-top can)
  • Beef stew (pop-top can)
  • Beef and chicken soups
  • Cereal (1 ounce bowl or box)
  • Fruit cups (peaches, applesauce, etc.)
  • Vegetable cups (corn, green beans, etc.)
  • Popcorn (snack size)
  • Snack mixes (snack size)
  • Raisins (snack size boxes)
  • Pudding cups
  • Juice boxes/plastic bottles (apple, orange, or other 100% juice)
  • Milk, both white and chocolate (do not require refrigeration)
  • Sunflower or pumpkin seeds (snack size)
  • Nuts (snack size)
  • Cereal bars or granola bars
  • Pop Tarts
  • Graham crackers
  • Peanut Butter/ Cheese crackers
  • Cheezits (snack size bag/box)
  • Pretzels (snacks size) plain/flavorable
  • Beef Jerkyes
  • Mixed Fruit snacks (roll-ups or gummy shapes)
  • Fig Newtons (snack size)
  • Cheese & crackers dip pack

HOW CAN YOU HELP US

  • Do a food drive for the backpack program (collecting non-perishable food)
  • Become a volunteer by assisting in packing and delivery of the backpacks
  • Become a sponsor of or donate to the Feeding Hands Backpack Program. Note:  Checks should be made out to True Divine Community Development Inc., or donate online at truedivinebaptistchurch.org.  All donations are tax exempt.
  • Consider starting a backpack program in your local community – contact us at 334-286-4008 for additional information.

 Contact Info:

True Divine Community Development Inc.,
Attn:  Feeding Hands Backpack
P.O. Box 23008
Montgomery AL 36123

Telephone Number: 334-286-4008
Fax Number: 334-288-4558

Email:  FeedingHandsBackpack@aol.com

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