Several years ago we piloted a Weekend Backpack Program for a community school. The concept was to offer students with supplemental food on the weekends. We asked the School Social Workers and Staff to identify the students who might be food insecure over the weekends. Most of the students identified are on FREE or reduced lunch programs through their school day and we wanted a way to continue food support over the weekend. The program has worked well, so in 2012-2013 we partnered with NIFB and expanded to 4 additional schools within Antioch and Lake Villa Townships.
For School Year 2015 – 2016 we are averaging 76 students each week. Northern IL Food Bank supplies some of the food through grants and we purchase items, thanks to the generosity of David at Piggly Wiggly (he sells us items at a reduced cost). We base our amount and selection on 8 meals and snacks. Throughout the summer we also supplement families with children by adding additional food to their weekly boxes.
We purchase items through local donations given by Antioch Lions Club, Antioch Jr Woman’s Club, individual food drives and churches. If you or a group you are affiliated with are interested in a Food Drive specifically for the children, here is a list of items we purchase to send home:
- 12oz can of pop-top pasta (spaghetti-o type)
- Microwavable Mac & Cheese
- Microwavable Soup in a pop-top
- Instant Cereals/ Small Boxes of Individual Cereal
- Individual Applesauce or boxes of Raisins
Thanks for your interest in learning about how you can help the children of Antioch and Lake Villa Township.