Blessings in a Backpack Michigan is a program designed to help meet the nutritional needs of children and families. Each week, volunteers working with school districts distribute backpacks filled with enough non-perishable food for the weekend – six meals – to at-risk students, or those who participate in the government-subsidized free or reduced fee hot lunch program during the school week. The food is provided at reduced cost through an agreement with Meijer, and $4 provides food for a student over the weekend. Students who cannot access food consistently have reduced food intake or poor diets, or go without food. Poor nutrition increases fatigue, shortens attention span, and decreases work capacity, all of which negatively impacting students’ educations. Food insecure children tend to be absent more often due to illness. While many students are learning virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the program continues to provide resources.
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