Kids After School Packs

 

Feeding Kids After School

 

KIDS' AFTER-SCHOOL PACK PROGRAM

 

The Kids' After-School Pack program targets children from low-income families who are at risk of going hungry over the weekend. Once each week during the school year, kids are given special backpacks that are filled with non-perishable food. A typical backpack, depending upon our Food Bank inventory, has contained items like: a protein (canned macaroni o's & beef, or beans & franks, or beef stew, or peanut butter or soup), fruit juice and usually an additional beverage, crackers. Nutri Grain bars, single serve cookies, single serve chips, individual boxes of cereal, pudding cups, and packets of instant oatmeal.

 

A backpack can weigh 5 to 7 lbs., depending upon what's in it. The cost of the food included in a typical Kids' After-School Pack averages $3.50/pack. This does not include the cost of the cloth backpacks.

 

The packs are put together, assembly-line style. The packs average about 12 items, placed inside a strong plastic bag, which is then put inside the backpacks at the actual distribution site. Normally the packs are given out on Thursday or Friday. That way the children can take the food home for use over the weekend and return the packs to school, so the pack is ready for use the next week. Groups distributing the Kids' After-School Packs typically come to the Food Bank to pick them up.
 

As of the 2010-2011 school year, Kids After-School Pack sites include:

BATTLE CREEK
Ann J. School (Battle Creek Public Schools)
Coburn School (Battle Creek Public Schools)
Dudley School (Battle Creek Public Schools)
Franklin School (Battle Creek Public Schools)
Prairieview School (Lakeview Public Schools)

ALBION
Harrington & Caldwell Elementary - Albion Public Schools (via New Hope Church) - Kids' Backpack site

KALAMAZOO
Edison, Lincoln, Milwood (via Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes)
Kalamazoo Boys & Girls Club
Arcadia Elementary (via Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes)
Lincoln Elementary (via Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes)
Milwood Elementary (via Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes)
King Westwood (via Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes)
Richland Elementary (via Richland United Methodist Church)
Schoolcraft Elementary
Washington Writer's Academy
Marcellus Elementary (via Third Reformed Church)
Washington Writer's Academy (via Third Reformed Church)

JACKSON
Frost Elementary (via End Hunger in Jackson)
Bean Elementary (Queen of Miraculous Medal)
Cascades Elementary (Cascades PTA)
Parma Elementary (via Queen of Miraculous Medal)

Warner Elementary (via Queen of Miraculous Medal)

MARSHALL
Mar-Lee Elementary (via Marshall Church of Christ)

UNION CITY

Union City Elementary (via Community Unlimited)

MENDON
Mendon Elementary

The Food Bank of SCM also partners with 2 different after-school feeding sites in Battle Creek and Kalamazoo, serving an average of 75 kids each week during the school year.


 

WHY AFTER SCHOOL FEEDING PROGRAMS?

The Food Bank of South Central Michigan was part of a national hunger study, Hunger in America, 2005. This study showed us that almost half (39%) of the individuals served by the Food Bank's network are children. In direct response to this finding, the Food Bank continues its after-school feeding programs for children. Many studies, like those from Tufts University, have shown the link between proper nutrition and the ability to learn and socialize. The Kids' After-School Pack program directly addresses these outcomes. Additionally, Kids' After-School Packs promote self-sufficiency as they nurture the entire family structure.

"Undernutrition harms children silently. Even before it is severe and its results are readily detectable, inadequate food intake limits the ability of children to learn about the world around them. When children are chronically undernourished their bodies conserve the limited food energy available. Energy is first reserved for maintenance of critical organ function, second for growth, and last for social activity and cognitive development. As a result, undernourished children decrease their activity levels and become more apathetic. This, in turn, affects their social interactions, inquisitiveness, and overall cognitive functioning...

This evidence suggests that undernutrition costs far more than the diminished well-being of youngsters during childhood. By robbing children of their natural human potential, undernutrition results in lost knowledge, brain power, and productivity for the nation. The longer and more severe the malnutrition, the greater the likely loss and the greater the cost to our country."

- Excerpted from Statement on the Link between
Nutrition & Cognitive Development in Children
, 1998,
Tufts University School of Nutrition Science & Policy.

WHO ARE THE AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM PARTNERS?

The Food Bank partners with a variety of organizations, including: Michigan Education Association, City of Battle Creek, Parks & Recreation Just For Kids After School Program, 21st Century/Battle Creek Public Schools, Minority Program Services, Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes, Eastside Neighborhood Association (Kalamazoo), Battle Creek Public Schools, Lakeview Public Schools, Lakeview/Urbandale Kiwanis Club, City of Albion Parks & Recreation Dept., First Congregational Church (B.C.), St. Philip Catholic (B.C.), First United Methodist (B.C.), and St. Thomas Episcopal (B.C.), Immanuel Lutheran (Jackson), Ending Hunger in Jackson, Cascades PTA (Jackson), Queen of Miraculous Medal (Jackson), Richland United Methodist and Gull Lake Rotary Club.

WHO ARE THE CURRENT AFTER-SCHOOL PACK FUNDERS?

Support has come from a variety of sources, including: Albion Public Schools, Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes, Lakeview/Urbandale Kiwanis Club, 1st United Methodist (Battle Creek), Sunrise Rotary Club, Downtown Battle Creek Rotary Club, St. Philip Catholic (Battle Creek), St. Thomas Episcopal (Battle Creek), First Congregational (Battle Creek), Post Foods LLC,  CareSource, and Gull Lake Area Schools.

QUICK FACTS REGARDING KIDS LIVING IN POVERTY & HUNGER

Children who grow up in families below 185% of the federal poverty level and who live in hungry and/or food insecure homes suffer from two to four times as many health problems as their counterparts who do not experience hunger.

Malnutrition-related ailments afflicting these children included unwanted weight loss, fatigue,
headaches, irritability, inability to concentrate, and frequent colds.
Children between the ages of 5 and 7, living in food insecure households have nearly 3-4
times the odds of stunted growth.

Poor children also face the following odds:

two times more likely to have repeated a grade by grade 12
one-third less likely to attend college and only half as likely to earn a bachelor's degree
almost two-and-three-quarter times more likely to have stunted growth
three to four times more likely to have iron deficiency
over one-and-a-half times more likely to contract pneumonia during childhood.
source: Recipes for Success, America's Second Harvest, May, 2001

For a powerful link to the Children's Defense Fund, click here.

CONTACT US! For more information on kids after-school feeding programs. Please contact us at 269-964-3663.

To get back to Food Bank main (home) page click here.

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