backpack BackPack Program

What is the BackPack Program?

Childhood hunger is a very real problem facing communities in Perry County.
Nearly 20% of our children struggle with hunger and live in homes with food insecurity.
As a result, many families rely on school breakfast and lunch programs to help provide meals for their children. The Perry
County BackPack Program is an additional service designed to meet a child’s hunger needs at times when school resources
are not available. Through this program, elementary school students receive a variety of nutritious foods to take home
with them on the weekends and holidays. Although food items vary week to week, students receive enough food to cover 2 breakfasts,
2 lunches, 2 dinners, and variety of snacks that often include fresh fruits and vegetables.

How does the BackPack Program work?

Although this is a “BackPack Program”, children will not actually be receiving backpacks.
Previous experience with the program has shown that when backpacks are sent home, families
often forget to return them after the weekend. This limits the ability to pack the distribution
for the following weekend. Therefore, to ensure each child consistently receives weekly distributions, backpacks are
used for tracking and storage purposes only. Each week items will be packed in grocery bags that will be placed in
the backpacks and then removed during pickup. No family is ever turned away!

Who qualifies to participate?

The BackPack Program is open to any Perry County elementary school student whose family is experiencing difficulty in
meeting their nutritional needs. Unlike other programs, there are no income requirements in order to qualify. The goal of the
program is to fight childhood hunger regardless of a family’s circumstances. Therefore, no child is ever turned away. All
you have to do is enroll!

Who We Are

The Perry County BackPack Program is a service provided through the Perry County Food Bank and sponsored by
the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. We are a non-profit program run entirely by volunteers and funded through
grants, donations, and fundraisers. If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to inquire
about volunteer opportunities, please contact your school office or the BackPack Program Coordinator:

Christina Voorhees
BackPack Program Coordinator
Perry County Food Bank
717-582-9978
pcbackpack@gmail.com