The Food 4 Kids Backpack Program provides weekend food packages to chronically hungry elementary school students from low-income households who are at risk of hunger over the weekend when free school meals are unavailable.Every Friday afternoon students on the program are called out of class, often to the school nurse’s office, and discretely given a bag of food which is tucked into their backpacks.Each bag contains enough food to see the students through the weekend, and the discreet distributions remove the stigma that might be attached to the program.
School staff members identify students who display signs of chronic hunger. Warning signs include stomach aches, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, hoarding food from the cafeteria, and absenteeism. Once a child has been identified as “chronically hungry,” a referral form is sent to the Food Bank and the student’s parents are sent a permission slip to enroll the student in the program.
What food items are included in the backpack?
Nutritious food items include:
- Fruit bars
- Pancake mix
- Fruit squeezers
- Chicken salad
- Mac & beef
- Instant soup
- Canned chicken
Which schools are eligible to participate on the program?
Any San Diego County public school with 80% or more of the school’s student population participating in a free or subsidized school meal program.
How can my school participate in the Food 4 Kids Backpack Program?
Establishing a new site is based upon availability and funding. If you are interested in having your elementary school participate in the Backpack Program, please submit an application to the Food Bank. Your application will be reviewed and placed on a waiting list. Admittance to the program is based on funding and the order in which applications are received.
Use the following link to fill out the Food 4 Kids Backpack Program Monthly Report.
How many schools are currently enrolled in the program?
41 San Diego County elementary schools are currently enrolled in the program. The program currently feeds 1,974 students each week at the following schools:
|Alvin Dunn Elementary||San Marcos|
|Audubon Elementary||San Diego|
|Balboa Elementary||San Diego|
|Boone Elementary||San Diego|
|Calvin J. Lauderbach Elementary||Chula Vista|
|Cherokee Point Elementary||San Diego|
|Chollas/Meade Elementary||San Diego|
|Coronado Unified School District (military families ONLY)||Coronado Island|
|Del Rio Elementary||Oceanside|
|Edison Elementary||San Diego|
|Field Elementary||San Diego|
|Foothill Oak Elementary||Vista|
|Harborside Elementary||Chula Vista|
|Herbert Ibarra Elementary||San Diego|
|John Adams Elementary||San Diego|
|John Montgomery Elementary||Chula Vista|
|Joli Ann Elementary||San Marcos|
|Kimball Elementary||National City|
|Kimbrough Elementary||San Diego|
|King Chavez of Excellence||San Diego|
|Linda Vista Elementary||San Diego – Year Round|
|Mary Fay Pendleton||Camp Pendleton|
|Mason Elementary||San Diego|
|Ocean Beach Elementary||San Diego|
|San Luis Rey Elementary||Oceanside|
|San Marcos Elementary||San Marcos|
|San Miguel Elementary||Lemon Grove|
|Sherman Elementary||San Diego|
|Smythe Elementary||San Ysidro|
|Sunset Elementary||San Ysidro|
|Vista Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA)||Vista|
|Vista La Mesa Elementary||Lemon Grove|
|Vista Square Elementary||Chula Vista|
How much does it cost to feed a child for a year?
- $200 = 1 school year (36 weekends)
- $22 = 1 month (4 weekends)
- $5.55 = 1 weekend
How can I help fund a child or school on the program?
Contact the Food Bank at 1-858-527-1419.
If you have any questions, concerns or want to follow up on an application that has already been submitted, please contact Shelly Parks at 858-863-5132 or firstname.lastname@example.org