The Riverbend Foodbank is making sure kids aren’t going hungry on the weekends.
“we’ve got two breakfast, two lunch, two dinners, and then some snacks”
Every school year, the foodbank hosts a monthly Backpack party.
Where dozens of volunteers fill boxes with meals, given to more than 2,000 kids every Friday.
“We try to get ten to fifteen percent of free and reduced lunch kids, onto the backpack program. That way we know that they need it, you know we need the neediest,” says Belinda Mielenhausen.
Volunteer coordinator Belinda Mielenhausen says, in the twenty-two counties the foodbank serves, more than 100,000 people are food insecure.
One in five are children.
“We want those kids to be able to eat. We try to get them food that kind of stabilizes their lives, that way they can focus on other things,” says Mielenhausen.
“It’s critical for our children to be nourished, so that they can learn better,” says Janine Johnson.
The program not only ensure’s kids aren’t going hungry, it keeps their identity confidential.
“It’s a program that’s really respectful of the dignity of the children. It’s not something where the school community knows the other children necessarily know that this family is or this child is having problems so we’re giving them this food,” says Johnson.
Organizers say the number of families in need is growing.
While this program isn’t a solution to the problem, it’s preventing the most vulnerable from going hungry.
“This is just one of those many ways that we can reach out and help to feed our community and in particular our children,” says Johnson.