The food backpack program was born out of a community identified need for children to receive proper nutritional support outside of school hours(weekends). On Friday’s a bag of child friendly food is placed in a child’s school backpack and sent home. It contains about enough meals and snacks for the weekend. We purchase a majority of the food from the Great Plains food bank in Fargo, although we are soliciting for folks to purchase items from our local grocers and donate to the project. The average cost per meal runs between $4.25-$5.63 depending on what items are sent home. We do not have income guidelines because we feel there may be families in need that do not qualify for traditional programs offered by the social service agencies, they are families that might be falling through the cracks of other services. Our goal is to have this available to all school districts in the future but that will depend on the resources we have. This needs to be sustainable for families; it is unfair to offer a support only to have it taken away when a grant ends. We believe this is a community issue that our community can provide a solution for if we all work together to do our part.
The Women United events each month are one way to create a sustainable revenue stream that supports the foodback pack project. We ask area women to open their home or provide a hostess “purse” for a social event for other women to come to. The $10.00 donation allows the donor’s name to go into a drawing for the purse and goodies, hence the “Power of the Purse”. The entire donation is used to purchase food for the backpacks. The “home” hostess opens her home and provides wine, an alternative nonalcoholic beverage, cheese and crackers. This is designed to be a come and go social from 5-7pm on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. For more information on the Women United events, please see their Facebook page.