Solid leadership and energetic volunteers backed by a generous community combine to meet the challenge of rising childhood food insecurity.
Food Backpacks 4 Kids Executive Director Richard Miller takes great pride in the nonprofit’s seamless transition to continue providing backpacks filled with food for students to take home despite the Washington state order closing all schools until further notice to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“We are currently providing more food to more children than ever before in the history of the organization,” Miller said. The locally based nonprofit was founded in 2009.
With weekly food distribution at three drive-by pick up locations — Evergreen Elementary, Gateway Park and Henderson Bay High School — plus home delivery, the organization helps to feed approximately 140 families and 465 children.
“We are currently providing more food to more children than ever before in the history of the organization.”
Since the coronavirus closed schools in mid-March, FB4K said it has distributed over 50,000 pounds of food with an approximate retail value of over $125,000.
Placing greater emphasis on fresh food and produce in their weekly food deliveries, Miller said the board of directors was looking for ways to increase their ability to receive, store and pack fresh food for delivery. A recent grant from Harvest Against Hunger made the purchase of a chest freezer and refrigerator possible.
With permission from their landlord, The Mustard Seed Project of Key Peninsula, FB4K is building raised garden beds adjacent to their food storage and packing facility to create another way to provide more fresh food.
“Our wonderful community has been very generous with financial donations in this challenging time,” Miller said. “Our warehouse remains fully stocked and our bank account is very healthy — better than before. We’re so grateful.”
For more information, go to foodbackpacks4kids.org.