How can a child focus on solving a math problem or memorizing a new word in school when they are trying to ignore the persistent pangs of hunger? Teachers and counselors have found that in some instances, Monday morning comes and they are forced to compete against hunger for the attention of their students. Unfortunately, many school children in our community go home to little or no food on the weekends. The RIFA Snack Backpack ministry works to fill this gap by providing kid-friendly, easy-to-prepare, nutritious food items for children who are at risk of going hungry on Saturdays and Sundays.
Through this ministry, RIFA provides Snack Backpacks to over 1,000 children at 14 elementary schools each week during the school year (42 weeks). Each Snack Backpack provides a child with six meals and two snacks and costs approximately $3.78. The yearly cost per child in the Snack Backpack program is $159.
During the 2016-2017 school year, RIFA piloted School Food Pantries at two schools that serve middle school students. The pantries were developed as a method of maintaining the older student’s dignity and creating a more discrete distribution method. School-based pantries are located on the grounds of the school to provide an easily accessible source of food assistance to students who are food insecure. Our goal is to continue to expand the program to serve more middle schools in the Jackson-Madison County School System.
$3.78 will feed a child for one weekend
$159 will feed a child for an entire school year (42 weeks)
$794 will feed 5 children for an entire school year (42 weeks)
$1,588 will feed 10 children for an entire school year (42 weeks)