BackPack Program

According to Feeding America, 20% or 1 in 5 Texas children experience hunger, in the Brazos Valley, it's 1 in 4. 

Children without proper nutrition have difficulties concentrating in school and are more prone to chronic illnesses that may hinder their growth and development.

While schools provide meals for their students through school breakfast and lunch programs, some children may not have sufficient access to adequate, nutritious food outside of school hours. The Brazos Valley Food Bank addresses childhood hunger through two children’s programs: BackPack and School-Based Food Pantries.


The BackPack Program provides a bag of easy-to-access food each week to elementary school-aged children to address weekend hunger in 6 counties (Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Madison, Robertson, and Washington).

Through the BackPack program, bags of food are provided to partners - schools during the school year, and youth programs over the summer. Every Friday, the Brazos Valley Food Bank’s BackPack partners distribute bags of nutritious, shelf-stable food to children to ensure that they have access to food when school meals are unavailable. These Backpacks provide children not only with needed nourishment but also with self-confidence and a self-assured start to the school week.

girls with oranges
BackPack facts

BackPack Partners across the Brazos Valley

Brazos: College Hills, Creek View, Forest Ridge, Greens Prairie, Pebble Creek, River Bend, Rock Prairie, South Knoll, Southwood Valley, Anson Jones, Bowen, Bonham, Crockett, Fannin, Henderson, Houston, Johnson, Kemp, Mary Branch, Mitchell, Neal, Navarro, Sul Ross Summer BackPack: Juvenile Services

Burleson: Caldwell, Snook, Somerville Elementary

Grimes: Brule, High Point, Webb Elementary, Iola, Anderson Shiro Elementary

Madison: Madisonville Elementary, North Zulch Elementary, Madisonville Intermediate

Robertson: Hearne, Bremond, Calvert Elementary. Summer BackPack: Network of Care

Washington: Alton, Brenham, Burton, Krause Elementary  


Like many of us, Caldwell, TX mother of two, Heather, fell on hard times. She has had to make some difficult decisions such as buying food or paying bills. Heather stated that she has worried about being able to keep a roof over her family’s head and described the situation as “scary and stressful.” Luckily, Heather was not alone. Teachers at Caldwell Elementary School, where Heather’s children attended, knew about her situation, and tried different ways to help her – including the BackPack Program.

Once her kids were enrolled in the program, Heather felt less stressed about what her kids would eat. “The kids get excited because they get to bring home food they love”, Heather stated. She likes that the food is easy for her kids to open, especially for her daughter because “she feels she’s more involved, feels like she’s grown when she’s opening her own food.” Heather stated that the BackPack bag has, “everything they need – juice, milk, fruit, mac and cheese, it hits every category that kids like or need, always something they can enjoy.”

H Martin - BP story
BackPack volunteer

To get BackPack bags delivered to the 41 elementary schools BVFB partners with, food items first have to be sorted and packed by our dedicated volunteers.

Each BackPack bag weighs about 5-6 pounds and comes in an ice bag which slips easily and discreetly into the child's actual backpack. The bags contain approximately 14 easy-to-prepare food items – enough food for 6 meals and 2 snacks for one child. These items are kid-friendly, shelf-stable, need minimal preparation, and are nutritious. While the exact contents of each BackPack may vary, the structure of the bags is roughly the same each week.

1-2 items of milk, cereal, juice, protein, an easy-to-prepare meal like Easy Mac, fruit, vegetables, oatmeal, and snacks. Items may vary based on availability

Click here to learn more about how you, your family, and friends can volunteer with the BackPack program.

The Brazos Valley Food Bank partners with schools and summer youth programs to provide nutritious and easy-to-prepare food to children who are at risk of going hungry over the weekend. As a BackPack Partner Site, you will work alongside the Brazos Valley Food Bank to help address childhood hunger at your site.

The Brazos Valley Food Bank:

  • Raises funds to acquire food for BackPack bags
  • Packs BackPack bags with the help of many volunteers
  • Delivers BackPack bags to BackPack program partners
  • Offers annual training to BackPack Site Coordinators

Each BackPack Partner Site:

  • Designates one person to serve as the BackPack Site Coordinator, acting as the liaison with the Brazos Valley Food Bank
  • Safely stores BackPack bags until they are passed out to children
  • Identifies and enrolls children who will benefit most from receiving a weekly BackPack bag
  • Distributes BackPack bags to enrolled children to take home over the weekend
  • Tracks and reports bags distributed
Being a BackPack Partner Site requires dedication and great communication within your site and with the Brazos Valley Food Bank.

If you are interested in becoming a BackPack Program partner, contact BVFB's Special Programs Manager, Winter Terral.

Winter Terral – Special Programs Manager
979-779-3663 ext. 113

As one of our core services to the Brazos Valley, the BackPack program is completely dependent on donations from individuals like you!  Be a part of ending childhood hunger in the Brazos Valley today.