This Christmas, help feed local children over the weekend or during school breaks. Journey Financial is proudly hosting a Charity Drive benefiting the United Way’s Weekend Backpack program!
This program sends home backpacks full of easy to prepare healthy foods with children who experience food insecurity. Four years ago, this started as a small program at Hawthorne Elementary in Idaho Falls, but has since grown to serve 400 children each week, at 17 different schools across four districts! Because of this great need, The United Way has experienced a 300% increase since the beginning of the school year. We hope our community will jump in and support with food or monetary donations to help this program continue.
“We have several schools who rely on our resources that help their students battle food insecurity each weekend and school break. One story shared with us was about a little boy in one of United Way’s afterschool programs who asked his teacher if he could get something out of his backpack. Each time, he returned with nothing and 2 or so minutes later would ask again. Eventually, this student shared with the teacher that he was going back to his backpack to take a bite out of half an eaten banana because he was hungry but that he felt so guilty because if he finished this banana then his little brother at home would have nothing to eat. Our program was able to partner with the school and make an astounding difference in this family’s life. Hundreds of kids in the Idaho Falls area are suffering similar experiences of food insecurity on a constant basis. Funding a program like this helps kids not have to wonder where their weekend meal is going to come from, they know they’ll be taken care of by the bag of food they pick up from their counselor’s office on Fridays. The Ready, Set, GO! program isn’t just fighting hunger, it’s building more stable homes for families in need.”
Alyssa Sherwood, United Way’s previous Community Impact Manager
The Weekend Backpack program serves school district 91 & 93 as well as additional schools in our 7-county area. They currently provide 150 bags per week of nutritious, easy to prepare food for students facing food insecurity on the weekends and holiday breaks. Please help us keep this program alive by donating some of the most needed items!
Snack size packages (in bulk) are preferred
- Kellogg Cereals Jumbo Assortment Pack
- Quaker Oats Flavor Variety Packs
- Applesauce or Fruit in individual cups
- Nutrigrain bars or Chewy granola bars
- Kraft Easy Mac microwavable (just add water) bowls
- Snack size fruit snacks
- Toasty peanut butter sandwich crackers
- Pepperidge farms goldfish snack packs
- Chef Boyardee Ravioli (individual cups)
- Beef jerky
Additional Needed Items:
- Peanut butter & jelly (in plastic packaging)
- Shelf stable milk
- Gift cards for perishable food
- Sam’s Club