Hope Packs: Helping Children Struggling with Food Insecurity
We believe the words “hungry” and “child” should never go together.
it’s estimated that 1 in 6 children in the United States is living in a food-insecure household. That means 17 million children are struggling with hunger. When children are regularly going without food the consequences can be dire. Without proper nutrition students start to display signs of adverse physical health, poor emotional well-being, and academic setbacks.
So we developed Hope Packs. By sending children home with enough food to get through the weekend we can help them thrive.
WHAT’S IN A HOPE PACK?
Each Hope Pack contains five core items: an individual warm meal (mac and cheese, ravioli), a breakfast meal, fruit, a granola bar, and a snack. By bundling donated, child-friendly, shelf-stable foods and supplementing with purchased food, we provide a consistent Hope Pack for children in need.
HOW HOPE PACKS WORKs
Sponsors and donors are at the core of our Hope Pack program. The cost to provide a child with food to take home every weekend for one school year is only $50. This is only possible due to the efficient, volunteer-supported operations at MFB.
Hope Packs are delivered right to the doorsteps of the schools that participate in our program. Volunteer agencies, churches, or community groups coordinate the pickup and drop-offs at participating schools. In addition, to help with distribution, we have faithful sponsors who provide the necessary funds to provide children with Hope Packs.
ORIGIN OF THE HOPE PACKS PROGRAM
In a school cafeteria, a teacher saw a young boy carefully wrapping some food and placing it in his backpack. She had to tell him that he wasn’t allowed to do that. His response? “I’m taking it home to my little brother who hasn’t eaten today.” Moved with compassion, the teacher contacted Midwest Food Bank to see if we could work together to help students struggling with food insecurity. “Hope Packs,” our student feeding program was born.
Midwest Food Bank began distributing child-friendly food items to dedicated school volunteers. The volunteers would package it together in a bag to give to the students. Every Friday, at-risk youth would be given a bag of food to help them through the weekend.