The Food Bank of Siouxland launched this program in October of 2006. In our first year of the program, four elementary schools in Sioux City received food sacks each week. We now serve eight area elementary schools: Bryant, Hunt, Irving, Liberty, Loess Hills, Riverside, Unity and Lewis & Clark. These buildings have an extraordinarily high rate of students participating in the free and reduced lunch program, so we know that food insecurity is a problem for many of these families. Chronically hungry children cannot learn and grow as they should, so our work to help them will have a far-reaching significant impact.
As the organization leading the charge for the BackPack Program: Food for Kids, the Food Bank is responsible for procuring the food for the weekly sacks given to some area elementary school children and coordinating the assembly of the food sacks. School vehicles deliver the sacks to the school buildings. On the last day of the school week, the food sacks are placed in the students’ backpacks to take home for the weekend.
We need your help, so we can help the children!
As a small nonprofit organization, there are two challenges for us to face as we work with the BackPack Program: money and time.
The funding to support the program comes entirely from gifts, grants, and donations. The foods purchased for the program must be kid-friendly, shelf-stable, and nutritionally sound, so it is important for us to choose wisely the items that compose the sacks each week. With the food costs estimated at nearly $200,000, it is clear that a great deal of community support will be necessary.
If you would like to help support this vital program, please send your check directly to the Food Bank c/o BackPack Program: Food for Kids, or donate via our secure Network for Good BackPack Program donation link.
The Food Bank of Siouxland relies on the support of many groups of volunteers (12-15 individuals per group) to assemble sacks each week. The packing is done in the Food Bank warehouse on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, with the time dependent on the wishes of the volunteers. Both during the work day and evenings are open. Volunteer schedules are set each fall starting the Tuesday after Labor Day. Businesses, youth, athletic, or religious groups and organizations with 12-15 people interested in helping with sack assembly should contact our program staff at (712) 255-9741.