Many Vermont kids rely on school breakfasts, free or reduced lunches and after-school programming for their meals during the week. On the weekends and during vacations, though, a food insecure household may have to stretch its resources even farther with kids at home all day. The Vermont Foodbank BackPack Program helps alleviate childhood hunger during these times, by sending kids home with nutritious bags of food on Friday afternoons.

It’s hard to imagine the situation unless you’ve been in it yourself, so we gathered the voices of several school staff. Here’s how they see the BackPack Program working in their communities.

Winooski (JFK) Elementary School

Winooski, VT

The students at JFK School are very thankful for the Backpack Program food bags. There are many students that tell me that they don’t have much food at home, so they appreciate getting some food to take home every Friday. Some students tell me that their mother cannot buy cereal or snacks, so they are anxious to have this food to eat, as it has become very special to them… it gives them hope and pride to have food that is their own.

The BackPack Program fills a huge void in our school community. The majority of our students qualify for free school meals, and live in poverty conditions. We also have a number of f