The BackPack Program started in 2004 by distributing 100 backpacks to 5 schools in the Waterloo School District. During the 2020-2021 school year, the BackPack program provided over 125,000 bags of food to kids at 159 schools in 16 counties.
Chronically hungry students are identified by staff members at participating schools.
Each food sack is pre-assembled at the Northeast Iowa Food Bank by volunteers throughout the month.
Volunteers and staff of the Northeast Iowa Food Bank then delivers pre-assembled food sacks for those children to take home on Friday afternoons.