Backpack contents nourish students; kids love to get them

March 7, 2024

Jennifer Jacklin, a Family Student Interventionist at Wilmington Manor Elementary School, offers all kinds of support for families in need — every day. Her school serves about 300 students in grades kindergarten through 5, and about 25 percent of those children receive Backpack – or weekend meal bags – through our special Backpack Program.

Our Backpack Program provides weekend meals to 8,377 students statewide each week. To help raise money for the program, we will be participating in Delaware’s day of giving, Do More 24! This year’s Do More 24 runs from 6 p.m. March 7 through 6 p.m. March 8; our goal is to raise $37,000.

This special program touches children and families by discreetly providing food to at-risk children for weekends and holidays when school is not in session or federal school meal programs are not available. Backpacks are stocked with kid-friendly, nutritious food including shelf stable milk and juice, pop-top cans, macaroni and cheese, apple sauce, cereal and more.

“The kids have said they really look forward to the bags; they’ve personally expressed that to me,” Jacklin said.

She sees an increased need in this support, mainly because of the economy – increased food prices. “Food costs are crazy. Parents are struggling to put food on tables,” she said.

Jacklin says she routinely refers families to neighboring food pantries and helps them sign up for the Food Bank’s home delivery services. “They have been very pleased. Families living in a motel only have access to a microwave,” she said.

While there’s no space at the school for a food pantry, this counselor says “it nice to have these resources.”

Asked what families would do without the Backpack Program, “Survive, but with less options,” said Jacklin.

Last year,  our Do More 24 donors helped us raise more than $35,000 to support the Food Bank’s Backpack Program. This year, we hope to provide even more backpacks so no child in Delaware ever has to go hungry when school is not in session. Visit to learn more about Do More 24 and our Backpack Program.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *