The Washington State Emergency Food Network last month presented Key Peninsula’s Food Backpacks 4 Kids program with its annual John Schultz Silver Spoon Volunteer Organization of the Year Award.

“We are unique because we are the only standalone backpack program,” said Executive Director Mary Williams. “All of the others are either affiliated with a faith-based community that may just serve a school or two, or are affiliated with a food bank.” Food Backpacks 4 Kids distributes 400 backpacks a week that each serve an average of four people. “That’s 1,600 people a week,” said Williams. “Last month, that was 9,000 meals.” The program was launched on the Key Peninsula in 2009, starting with nine backpacks given away at Evergreen Elementary School. It now serves students at every school in the Peninsula School District.

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