Food Backpack for Kids

Together, No Child Will Go Hungry

Western Lane County, known for its picturesque landscapes and charming towns, hides a harsh reality within its communities – the growing issue of child hunger and homelessness. While it may be tempting to believe that these problems are only prevalent in larger cities, the truth is that children right here in our neighborhoods are going to bed hungry and lacking a safe place to call home.

The Alarming Statistics:
The statistics surrounding child hunger and homelessness in Western Lane County are staggering. According to a study conducted by FOOD for Lane County, nearly 1 in 4 children in Lane County live in food-insecure households, lacking consistent access to healthy and nutritious food. Additionally, the Oregon Housing Alliance reports that during the 2016- 17 school year, over 2, 000 children in Lane County experienced homelessness. These numbers represent real children in our schools, playgrounds, and towns.

The Far-Reaching Impacts:
The challenges faced by these children extend beyond their immediate circumstances. Hunger and homelessness have a profound impact on a child’s overall well-being:

1. Education: Food insecurity and unstable housing make it difficult for children to focus on their education. They may struggle with attendance, fall behind in their studies, and face a higher risk of dropping out.

2. Health: Hungry children are more susceptible to physical health problems, such as nutrient deficiencies and weakened immune systems. They may also experience mental health struggles.

3. Social Development: The stress of homelessness and hunger can hinder a child’s ability to form healthy relationships and engage in social activities crucial for their growth.

How We Can Make a Difference:
Fortunately, as a community, we have the power to address these challenges. Food Backpack for Kids is an organization dedicated to feeding children in Western Lane County, including Florence and Mapleton.

How Food Backpack for Kids Operates:
1. Identifying Students in Need: Food Backpack for Kids collaborates with school administrators to discreetly identify children who show signs of food insecurity over the weekends.

2. Providing Weekend Supplies: The program focuses on providing ready-to-eat, child-friendly food that bridges the nutritional gap between school-provided meals. Backpacks typically include breakfast foods, fruits, juice, protein-rich snacks, and simple meal options.

3. Discreet Distribution: Volunteers pack the backpacks, which are then delivered to the schools. School staff distribute the food bags to the children in need, ensuring confidentiality and preserving their dignity.

How Donations Are Utilized:
Food Backpack for Kids is committed to using 100% of donations for purchasing food. Your generosity will help nourish hungry children, and the organization diligently seeks cost-effective, nutritious options, prioritizing local sourcing whenever possible. Additionally, all operational costs are covered by the generous support of Florence Cross Road Church, ensuring that 100% of your donation directly benefits the purchase of food for hungry children.

Every Child Deserves a Chance:
While the challenge of child hunger and homelessness may seem overwhelming, every action we take can make a difference. With compassion and collective effort, we can provide the support necessary for all children in Western Lane County to reach their full potential.