Hope Packs: Helping Children Struggling with Food Insecurity
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.
More than 11 million children in the United States live in “food insecure” homes. In 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, an estimated 1 in 4 children in the United States face hunger. At Midwest Food Bank, we believe that the words “hungry” and “child” should never go together. Children struggling with food insecurity face adverse physical health, poor emotional well-being, and academic setbacks. Hope Packs ensures children don’t go an entire weekend without access to food.
While Hope Packs include other items, each one contains five core items. These are: an individual warm meal (mac and cheese, ravioli), a breakfast meal, fruit, a granola bar, and a snack (fruit snacks, cookie). By bundling donated child-friendly, shelf-stable foods and supplementing with purchased food, we provide a consistent Hope Pack for the children in need.
For $50, Midwest Food Bank can provide a Hope Pack to a child every weekend for one school year. This is only possible due to the efficient, volunteer-supported operations at MFB. Would you like to help students struggling with food insecurity? Please use the form below.