To help address childhood hunger, Islamic Relief USA presented the Food Bank of Delaware with a $25,000 donation for the Backpack Program this afternoon. In addition to supporting the program financially, representatives from the organization also volunteered to assemble bags.
The Backpack program provides food to children in need for weekends and holidays when school is not in session and federal school meal programs are not available.
Backpacks are stocked with kid-friendly, nutritious foods including cereal, shelf-stable milk and juice, microwaveable meals such as macaroni and cheese and beef stew and more. This $25,000 donation will enable the Food Bank of Delaware to provide weekend meals for an entire school year to 148 schoolchildren.
Last year the Food Bank of Delaware distributed 170,942 meal bags to more than 5,000 children each week.
Food and informational flyers for the backpacks are packed by volunteers, and the Food Bank of Delaware delivers the bags to participating sites weekly. Site staff stores the bags in a secure area until distribution day. Meals are packed for children in plastic bags. School officials discreetly insert the bags into children’s backpacks before the weekend or holiday break.
“We are so appreciative of Islamic Relief USA’s support of our Backpack program,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “Nutrition is vital for the development of children. Sadly, thousands of children depend on these bags as their weekend lifeline. We hear stories from teachers about students who race down to the classroom on Friday to ensure they get the weekend food bag.”
“Islamic Relief USA wants to make sure students have access to nutritious meals during lunchtime,” said Naeem Muhammad, U.S. programs manager for Islamic Relief USA. “This grant will make it possible for children to continue receiving healthy meals. We value the work of the Food Bank of Delaware and this contribution helps make progress toward that goal.”