Thursday, October 8, 2009

Give Back With a Backpack

With Thanksgiving in the air, fall is always a great time to take on an initiative to give back to the community. I recently learned from our friends over at Maupin House that there is a great opportunity for you and your classes to "Give Back with a Backpack" — an inexpensive way to give back to the community and students to help their peers.

Millions of low-income children in the United States rely on food support from the National School Lunch Program. But when school is not in session, children living in food-insecure households are at risk of going without the nutritious food they need. Even mild undernutrition can affect behavior and school performance -- children are unable to learn when they're hungry and anxious about where their next meal will be coming from.

Enter: The BackPack Program, developed at the Arkansas Rice Depot in Little Rock after a school nurse asked for help because hungry students were coming to her with stomachaches and dizziness. The local food bank began to provide the school children with groceries in nondescript backpacks to carry home.

Currently, there are more than 2,200 BackPack Programs around the country, serving more than 90,000 children each year. Backpacks, filled with child-friendly, vitamin fortified and nonperishable food, are discreetly distributed to children to take home on weekends or before holiday vacations.
But with an estimated 12.4 million U.S. children in food-insecure households, Feeding America is nowhere near its goal of reaching all the children at risk.

You can help! $25 helps Feeding America establish and strengthen BackPack Programs around the country, ensuring that children have access to food so they can break the cycle of hunger and poverty.

Feeding America is the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity, with a network of more than 200 member food banks and food-rescue organizations serving all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Right now, many member food banks and food-rescue organizations are seeing an increase in demand, as high as 20% in some areas.

Upon purchase, you will receive an automated e-mail with a link to a full-color certificate of acknowledgment that you may print and frame for display or gift-giving. Adobe Acrobat Reader, or equivalent .pdf viewing program, is required to open the file. The certificate makes a great "instant" gift for an honored colleague, family member or friend.

Please note: Your purchase is tax-deductible in the U.S.A., and you will receive a receipt from for your taxes. 100% of this gift goes to Feeding America as a grant through GreaterGood Network stores do not receive any profit from the sale of this Gift That Gives More™; we bring it to you in the spirit of the greater good. has ultimate authority and discretion with regard to the distribution of its funds. All expenditures made are consistent with the exempt purposes of

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