Kids in Vermont can rely on a nourishing breakfast and lunch when they are at school, but when school is out, sometimes accessing food can be a challenge. One way Vermont Foodbank is helping is through its BackPack program, providing supplemental food to kids when school is not in session. Vermont Foodbank delivers kid-friendly, easy-to-prepare food to partnering schools where staff connect these packs of food with children to bring home for weekends and school breaks.

A young child eating peaches gives a thumbs up to the camera.
A young child eating peaches gives a thumbs up to the camera.

How Does BackPack Work?

Vermont Foodbank’s BackPack program provides children with kid-friendly, easy-to-prepare foods for weekends and school breaks during the school year. It is a supplemental food program in partnership with elementary schools across Vermont, and there are no income or eligibility requirements for participation. Check below to see if your school is a participating BackPack school.

BackPack food is sourced by Vermont Foodbank and then distributed to participating schools. School staff then work together to identify students who would benefit from the program. Throughout the school year, the food is discreetly distributed to students each week by their school’s site coordinator. Each pack has enough food for one child to have three meals over a weekend.

What Does Each Pack Include?

  • Each pack weighs about 3 pounds.
  • Items in the pack are kid-friendly, easy-to-prepare, shelf-stable, and relatively nutritious.
  • Each pack includes fruits and vegetables, grains, and protein.
  • Menus include two entrées, two fruit items, two snacks, one cereal, and one juice or milk.
Photo of back pack with food spilling out.

Where Does BackPack Food Go?

At more than 30 schools across Vermont, approximately 1,200 kids will receive food bags each week through the BackPack program. In a year’s time, the Vermont Foodbank will provide approximately 42,000 packs, or 146,000 pounds of food, to participating students.

Is your elementary school part of the BackPack program? Check out our list of participating schools.

Academy Elementary School
Barre Town School
Barton Graded School
Bennington Elementary School
Berkshire Elementary School
Berlin Elementary School
Blue Mountain Union
Central Elementary School
Coventry Village School
Green Street School
Hardwick Elementary School
Lakeview Elementary School
Lunenberg School
Molly Stark Elementary School
Morristown Elementary School
Newport City School
Northeast Primary School
Northfield Elementary School
Northfield Middle & High School
Northwest Elementary School
Oak Grove School
Orleans Elementary School
Pownal Elementary School
Richford Elementary School
Soar Learning Center
Troy School
Waits River School
Washington Village School
Williamstown Elementary School
Winooski Elementary School
Woodbury Elementary School

Does Your School Participate in BackPack and You Want to Sign Up Your Child?

Please reach out to your school directly for more information.

Is Your School Not on the List?

Reach out to your school to let them know you are interested in having the BackPack program at your child’s school. Some schools run a backpack program independently from Vermont Foodbank.

The Vermont Foodbank BackPack Program is currently undergoing an assessment and new applications are not being accepted at this time. We ask that you please check back later for updates.

If you have any questions regarding the BackPack program, please contact Vermont Foodbank by emailing or calling 1-800-585-2265.

What other food resources for youth and families are available?

You can always call 211 or visit to find out about local programs in your community, including free meal sites in the summer.

Additional Resources Available Statewide:

WIC is the USDA Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. WIC provides food benefits, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, counseling and programs for pregnant Vermonters, parents and caregivers with children under 5.

SquaresVT is a federal program that boosts your monthly grocery budget. Vermont Foodbank's specialist team can share more information and help you apply. Check your eligibility by texting VFBSNAP to 85511, or calling our helpline 855-855-6181, or emailing .

Looking for more child nutrition resources and programs for your schools? Check out Hunger Free VT's Child Nutrition Hub.

Photo of two kids playing in the dirt; only their legs and feet are visible.

“[Kids] seem to have a sense of calm knowing they have food on the weekends.”

~ Staff member at participating school

This program is made possible through the generous support of these organizations and companies: Ludcke Foundation, Rona Jaffe Foundation, National Life Group Charitable Foundation,, Joy in Childhood Foundation, Red Nose Day Fund of Comic Relief, Inc., Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Dead River Company, Turrell Fund, United Church of Hinesburg, Barre Lions Club, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Albertsons Companies Foundation, and Entertainment Industry Foundation.