LEWISTON – The Idaho Foodbank is recognizing September as Back to School Month as part of a statewide 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, 12.3 percent of children in Northern and North Central 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 that 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 9,750 Backpacks for children in North Central Idaho. Community members can help by donating any amount to the Backpack program. For just $300, supporters can become a Backpack Buddy and support a child with a Backpack every week of the school year.
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, nearly 16,000 households were supported by School Pantries in Idaho.
“Our Backpack and School Pantry programs make a meaningful impact on the lives of Idaho children and their families,” said Karen Vauk, President and CEO of The Idaho Foodbank. “We are so proud of our partnerships with schools that allow us to work together to help children have access to nutritious food so they can focus on learning.”
On September 28th, McVey Entertainment Group, including the ZRock and Canyon Country radio stations, will be hosting an all day radiothon in support of the Back to School campaign.
More information the Back to School Month activities can be found on The Idaho Foodbank’s website and social media accounts.
If you or someone you know needs food assistance, please go to The Idaho Foodbank’s Food Assistance Locator: idahofoodbank.org/getfood.