POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) – The Idaho Foodbank is recognizing September as Back to School Month as part of an effort to support kids all over Idaho who are experiencing hunger. The Back to School campaign will raise awareness of and funds for The Idaho Foodbank’s Backpack and School Pantry programs.
According to Feeding America’s most recent Map the Meal Gap report, 9.5% of children in eastern Idaho experience food insecurity. The Idaho Foodbank’s Backpack and School Pantry programs are an important piece of the collaborative work to solve childhood food insecurity in Idaho.
The Idaho Foodbank’s Backpack program ensures students who are chronically hungry have access to adequate food over the weekend by providing them with nutritious, kid-friendly food every Friday during the school year. Meals consist of items that are easy to prepare and meet a child’s needs for Saturday and Sunday. Last year, The Foodbank provided over 19,000 Backpacks for children in Eastern Idaho. Community members can help by donating any amount to the Backpack program.
In September, Idaho Central Credit Union is matching donations for the Backpack Program so new Backpack Buddies will be providing a Backpack for two children.
The Idaho Foodbank’s School Pantry program helps provide families with food through a pantry set up inside the school, where access is convenient for students and their families. The Idaho Foodbank selects nutritious and non-perishable items to help stock school pantry shelves. Last year, over 12,000 households were supported by School Pantries in Idaho.
“Our Backpack and School Pantry programs make a significant impact on the lives of Idaho children and their families,” said Kia Shaw, Eastern Idaho Branch Manager of The Idaho Foodbank. “We are proud of our work with schools to help children have access to nutritious food so they can focus on learning.”
The Bayer Fund recently awarded The Idaho Foodbank a $10,000 grant to support the Backpack Program. This grant will help the community in eastern Idaho by supporting The Idaho Foodbank’s work to ensure kids have the food they need when they are not in school.
You can learn more about these programs and how you can support them HERE.