Children's Programs

School Pantyr

According to Feeding America’s most recent Map the Meal Gap, on average, 1 in 4 households in the Brazos Valley with children are at risk of hunger.

Children without proper nutrition have difficulties concentrating in school and are more prone to chronic illness 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 at outside of school hours. The Brazos Valley Food Bank addresses childhood hunger through two children’s programs: BackPack and School-Based Food Pantries.


 

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BackPack girl with bow

BackPack Program

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.

This past school year the Brazos Valley Food Bank distributed on average 1,800 BackPacks each week through 41 partner schools, for a total of 58,000 BackPacks distributed during the 2021-2022 school year. 

Boys and BackPacksWhat’s in a BackPack?

Each BackPack contains approximately 14 easy to prepare food items – enough food for 6 meals and 2 snacks for one child. Each week the exact food in the BackPack differs as there is a rotating menu; however, the structure is the same each week: 2 milk, 2 cereal, 2 juice, 2 protein items, 1 Easy Mac, 1 fruit, 1 vegetable, 1 oatmeal, and 2 snack items. 

 

Ways To Get Involved

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School Pantry Teen

School-Based Food Pantry

Brazos Valley Food Bank’s School-Based Food Pantry program addresses the issue of adolescent hunger by partnering with local schools to host food pantries on the school campus that distribute food and hygiene items. While the Children’s BackPack Program most frequently focuses on elementary aged students and each BackPack serves just one child, School-Based Food Pantries predominantly serve intermediate, middle and high schools and are able to serve the students' whole family, as needed.

Stocking School Pantry

School-Based Food Pantries make food more readily accessible for low-income students and their families since they are already regularly at the school. Students and their families can access a variety and quantity of food that can serve the whole family, in a way that accommodates an older student's reluctance to be singled-out or somehow identified as “in need” amongst their peers. School-Based Food Pantries also try to be preventative – some youth feel obligated to help the family, and this offers them a safe and confidential way to do this, without skipping school or dropping out altogether to get a job.

Participating schools store food and hygiene items so students and their families are able to visit the school pantry and receive these items as needed throughout the school year.

For the 2021-2022 school year the Brazos Valley Food Bank’s 15 partner schools served 5,973 unique individuals (students and their families) through the School Based Food Pantry program.

Ways To Get Involved