On Thursday, March 21 Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC and its BackPack Program partners officially commemorated the introduction of the initiative at Forest Park Elementary School, where 100 percent of students are eligible for the free/reduced price school meal program.
More than 20 Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools now participate in the BackPack program, which provides participating low-income children with backpacks full of nutritious, kid-friendly food items on weekends during the school year. Each backpack includes four kid-friendly meals comprised of nutritious items, such as cereal, shelf-stable milk and 100 percent juice boxes.
Program partners for the BackPack Program at Forest Park Elementary include the school, First Baptist Church of Winston-Salem and Second Harvest Food Bank, which oversees the program and provides the food and funding for program sites for the first year.
According to Feeding America’s most recent Map the Meal Gap report, nearly 1 in 4 children in North Carolina County lacks access to enough food to live a healthy, active life. Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC’s BackPack Program is turning the tables on childhood hunger. A national program of Feeding America, the BackPack Program is administered by Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC across its 18-county service. Targeted schools are those most in need, with 50 percent or more of enrolled students qualifying for the free/reduced price school meal program.