Food For Thought
Food for students
“Food insecurity” describes households that are so financially stretched that they cannot guarantee regular meals for all household members. The Food For Thought Backpack Program was started in May of 2012 to help children with a high risk of food insecurity. In Snohomish County (2014) 19.1% of children (33,280) experienced hunger or food insecurity.
Marysville School District 2016 statistics show that 54% of elementary students use Free/Reduced meals. These children receive meals at school, but what happens to these children when the school week is over? Food For Thought Backpack Program is currently working with all of elementary school counselors to provide these students with weekend meals. We also have a “Food Pantry” in all of the Middle & High Schools for those students in need.
Each backpack contains:
Breakfast: Instant oatmeal, box cereal, Pop Tart, and shelf-stable milk
Lunch: Mac & Cheese, Top Ramen, Cup of Soup or Campbell’s soup, and juice
Snack: Fruit snack, granola bar, cheese and crackers, carrot sticks, apple, banana or oranges, and juice
Dinner & Dessert: Chef Boyardee Meal, Kids Complete Meal, ravioli, chili, shelf-stable milk, and pudding or fruit cup
From Amy Howell, Assistant Director:
I received an email this morning from a school counselor at one of the schools we serve. She had a conversation with one of the students that receives the packs…
Student- (on Tuesday morning 1/29) “When do we get our bags?”
Me- “Not until Friday.”
Student- “Aw, I can’t wait!”
Me- “Why do you like it?”
Student- “It makes me feel nice.”
Me- “How does it make you feel nice?”
Student- “It makes me feel full.”
This brought tears to my eyes with sadness and joy. Sadness in just knowing that there are kids out there going hungry and joy for the fact that we are
able to help.