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Image of children standing in a line smile over their shoulder with their brand-new backpacks.
Children standing in a line smile over their shoulder with their brand-new backpacks.

During the 2018-19 school year, the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank ensured participants received food backpacks every weekend. Their Food 4 Kids Backpack Program served 2,600 students at 53 schools across 14 school districts in San Diego County. They also shared information about other benefits and resources their family might be eligible for along with offering them a special family-pack of food at the end of the month to help stretch their budgets.

“The results of having access to this food are tangible: students attend school more regularly, they are more attentive in class, and they are generally happier and healthier,” the San Diego Food Bank reports. Their post-program surveys showed that

  • 53 percent fewer students complain about hunger on Monday mornings
  • 24 percent of participating students attend school more regularly
  • 48 percent of participating students are not experiencing social nor emotional issues
  • 49 percent fewer students are struggling academically

The Food 4 Backpacks Program plans to expand to another 200 children, and the Food Bank recently launched its Diaper to Degree program, which serves a broader age range of children in need. Donations, like the one provided by the Maximus Foundation, both allow more children to access the program and allow the Food Bank more leeway to introduce healthier items, like fresh produce, to the take-home meals.

Learn more about the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank’s Food 4 Kids Backpack Program.