Childhood hunger is a silent epidemic that affects nearly 1 in 4 children. For the poorest school-age children, Friday night begins the Weekend Meal Gap, two days when the school lunch programs are not available and the children have little or nothing to eat. These children come back to school on Mondays, famished and weak, thinking only of the free meal that will come at breakfast and/or lunchtime.
Through the Weekend Back Pack Program teachers and counselors at all elementary schools in Anderson County identify children who are at the greatest risk of falling into the Weekend Meal Gap. Free and reduced breakfasts and lunches are only available during the week, so the program provides needy children with meals to take home on Fridays. Each enrolled child receives a bag of child-friendly, ready-to-eat foods on Friday to take home for the weekend, when school meals are not available. Children return to school on Monday, well-fed and ready to learn.
This program is being powered by the faith community of Anderson County.