It is our hope that these resources will support the health, behavior and achievement of every student that participates.
Over 18 million children, one in six, in the USA qualify for the free and reduced price lunch program through the National School Lunch Program. In Colorado, the number is one in five.
What happens on the weekend when these kids do not have this breakfast or lunch program? Educators see the effect on kids when they come to school on Monday, hungry.
Children who are hungry have difficulty staying focused for learning. They experience mood swings. They have trouble participating in athletics and other activities. They experience stomach aches, headaches and fatigue. Chronic hunger impacts kids for a life-time.
In 1995 a school nurse in Arkansas saw children struggling in school because they were hungry. She reached out to the local food bank to get the community involved in providing bags of food on the week end for kids in need. Since then, the weekend back pack program has grown to thousands of sites around the country, and the involvement of over 150 food banks, many sponsored by Feeding America*.
Along our Highway 285 Corridor, up to 35% of school children are on the school-lunch program. The Rotary Club of Conifer made a commitment to start the 285 BackPack Project in the 2012-13 school year, feeding 58 Deer Creek Elementary children every weekend. In 2013-14, we added Fitzsimmons Middle, Elk Creek Elementary and West Jefferson Elementary Schools, supporting 120 children in each. In 2014-15 we added a fifth school, West Jefferson Middle School.
* For more information about Feeding America, click the link below: