Blessings in a BackpackProject led by Conotton Valley Schools
About the project.
This Cause Connector project supports weekend meals for K-6 students at Conotton Valley Schools in Carroll and Harrison counties.
When students receive food bags, through the Conotton Valley Schools Blessings in a Backpack program, they do not have to worry where their weekend meals are going to come from. Children are then able to return to school on Monday morning without hunger pangs, ready to learn.
The program typically relies on fundraisers held throughout the year, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, these fundraisers were canceled. Meanwhile, food costs have increased.
Who is served by the program?
The Conotton Valley Schools Blessings in a Backpack program was established in early 2019 by faculty concerned by the need among the district’s students. There are 225 students enrolled in grades K-6 in the district. Of that number, 42% of students are elligible for free or reduced lunch . The school identifies the students in need of the Blessings in a Backpack program based on those participating in the free and reduced lunch program. At that time, a letter is sent home explaining the program to the parents or guardians, and families opt in to participate.
Currently, 50 students are participating in the program. The program provides weekend meals for children who might not otherwise have meals over the weekends.
FAO staff comments.
Programs like this one recgonize that many factors contribute to a child’s educational success. When students do not have their basic needs met, learning becomes difficult or impossible.
This program helps students who face food insecurity, and it also helps to set students up for success in the classroom. Ultimately, this program can support better health and educational outcomes to make a lasting difference for students and ultimately strengthen whole communities.