We can’t do what we do without the support of a caring community. With one in six Delaware children living in poverty, it truly takes a village to raise a child. We are thankful to the Walmart Foundation for donating $60,000 towards our Backpack Program for kids. With this donation, we will be able to provide food for an entire school year to 357 Delaware schoolchildren.
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 food including shelf-stable milk and juice, meals such as macaroni and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs and beef stew, granola bars, apple sauce, cereal and more. They are distributed on Fridays or the last day before a holiday or vacation in a discreet manner at schools.
For many children, the Backpack Program is a weekend lifeline. We frequently receive comments from school officials on how important this program is to students:
“We have many children who don’t know where they are going to get their meals when they leave school. This gives them a little piece of mind and helps get them get through even if it is just one more day.”
“A student is being cared for by a grandparent who is battling cancer. Things are really hard right now and the grandmother expressed how grateful she is for the assistance.”
“The Backpack program is helping a family that does not have permanent housing and are struggling to obtain housing and adequate groceries for their family. The extra weekend food for 2 of the siblings allows the parent to allocate some of their limited budget to other family needs.”
“A new student registered through family services after being place in foster care lit up when I delivered her first backpack to her and was very excited to learn that she would get one every week.”
“These comments speak for themselves,” says Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “Far too many children and their families are struggling in our community. We are thankful for the Walmart Foundation for stepping up to assist us in meeting the critical food needs of children. We can’t do this without supportive partners. On behalf of the 5,797 children receiving a backpack this week, we thank Walmart for their generosity.”