South Dakota’s public schools provide free or reduced meals to children at risk of hunger through the National School Lunch Program. The program effectively combats hunger during the school week, but it does not address the needs of children when school is not in session. The Backpack Program provides healthy, easy-to-prepare food for kid-friendly meals to students who may not have access to food over the weekends and during school breaks.
Every BackPack is unique but includes similar items such as:
- Breakfast items like cereal, oatmeal, or granola bars
- Easy to prepare meals like mac and cheese, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or canned soup
- Shelf stable milk or juice
- Fresh or canned fruit
- Fresh or canned vegetables
The Backpack Program is distributed through the schools because of their relationship with students, easy access and safe environments. Through this program, more than 5,000 children statewide are given a greater opportunity to learn and grow.
There are may ways to support our BackPack Program: