The Food 4 Kids Backpack Program, established in 2006, 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.
How are children selected for 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 can join the Food 4 Kids Backpack 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.
How many schools are currently enrolled in the program?
51 San Diego County elementary schools in 14 school districts are currently enrolled in the program. The program currently feeds 2,600 students each week at the following schools:
|School Name||School District|
|Alvin Dunn Elementary||San Marcos|
|Audubon Elementary||SDUSD Traditional|
|Balboa Elementary||SDUSD Traditional|
|Boone Elementary||SDUSD Traditional|
|Calvin J. Lauderbach Elementary||Chula Vista|
|Cherokee Point Elementary||SDUSD Year-Round|
|Chollas/Meade Elementary||San Diego|
|Coronado Unified School District (ALL)||Coronado|
|Del Rio Elementary||Oceanside|
|Edison Elementary||SDUSD Year-Round|
|Field Elementary||SDUSD Traditional|
|Foothill Oak Elementary||Vista|
|Harborside Elementary||Chula Vista|
|Herbert Ibarra Elementary||SDUSD Year-Round|
|John Adams Elementary||SDUSD Traditional|
|John Montgomery Elementary||Chula Vista|
|Joli Ann Elementary||San Marcos|
|Kimball Elementary||National City|
|Kimbrough Elementary||SDUSD Year-Round|
|King Chavez of Excellence||SDUSD Traditional|
|Linda Vista Elementary||SDUSD Year-Round|
|Mary Fay Pendleton||Fallbrook|
|Mason Elementary||SDUSD Traditional|
|Ocean Beach Elementary||SDUSD Traditional|
|Potrero Elementary||Mountain Empire|
|San Luis Rey Elementary||Oceanside|
|San Marcos Elementary||San Marcos|
|San Miguel Elementary||Lemon Grove|
|Sherman Elementary||SDUSD Traditional|
|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