20,000 children in Seattle, including over 3,000 homeless and displaced children, receive free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch on school days, as part of the national school lunch program. Many of these children do not have enough to eat on weekends when school meals are not available.
Children who regularly experience hunger also experience poorer overall health, higher levels of aggression, anxiety and hyperactivity, impaired cognitive thinking and diminished capacity to learn. This often results in lower test scores, poorer academic achievement, increased school absence, tardiness and school suspensions. The long-term consequences are dire for these children.
While hunger and homelessness remain complicated problems, making sure school children have enough to eat is relatively easy. That's where we come in. Every week, Backpack Brigade distributes hundreds of weekend meal-packs to over 20 Seattle-area schools through the efforts and support of volunteers and sponsors.
On Fridays during the school year, Backpack Brigade volunteers pack bags of nutritious, easy-to-eat meals and drop them at area K-8 schools and middle schools where they are distributed to students in need. In addition, boxes of healthy snacks are delivered by our volunteer drivers to area high schools for hungry older teens. Through these volunteer packers and drivers we deliver thousands of meals each week.
We would not exist or operate without the support of our amazing sponsors. With the operational help of the YWCA Central Food Bank, NW Harvest and Food Lifeline and the funding support of generous sponsors like Homestreet Bank and United Way, we continue to ensure Seattle children are fed on weekends.
You can make a difference by donating, volunteering to pack or deliver, leading a food drive, donating your services or helping us find more partners to support our effort. Powered by volunteers and strengthened through donations, you can help us provide nutritious food to more of Seattle’s hungry children each weekend.