The BackSnack Program
Feed Northland Kids formed to address childhood hunger in the Northland of Kansas City. We’re partnering with Harvesters, The Community Food Network. We raise funds to expand the Harvesters’ BackSnack program in Clay and Platte counties in Missouri.
Harvesters’ BackSnack program addresses weekend nutrition and hunger by providing healthy, kid-friendly foods for children. Harvesters provides the food and volunteers pack food kits weekly. A community partnering organization delivers the packed kits to the school and school staff distributes them on Friday to the kids. This happens weekly during the school year and often through summer school.
Through the support of a number of donors, we secured funding to expand this program to a current 1,600 children in the Northland. Our vision is to leave no student hungry in our community.
Food for Thought
Phase two was addressing childhood hunger impacting middle and high school kids. We opened our first in-school pantry in partnership with Backpack Shepherds at Winnetonka High School. Opened in September of 2017, the pantry is impacting over 100 individuals and their families within the Winnetonka community.
In 2018, our work continued with an expansion of these Food for Thought pantries in various middle and high schools throughout the Park Hill School District. We know hunger follows these children when they leave elementary school and an in-school pantry is an effective way to reach them. 2021 brought an expansion into the Liberty School District. We are encouraged with the number of visits each pantry is receiving. Currently, we routinely stock 18 in-school pantries.
Community Food Kit program
When the pandemic closed schools, the Northland’s most vulnerable students lost easy access to school lunches and our in-school food pantries. Feed Northland Kids responded by creating a new program. We worked with school districts and churches to provide Community Food Kits to local families from March 2020 through June 2021. During the 2020-21 school year alone, we distributed 26,000 Community Food Kits weekly, to nearly 800 families throughout Clay and Platte counties. While circumstances have improved for some families, the need remains for many. This program is now our third phase. We are working with school districts to identify families with the greatest need and provide them Community Food Kits monthly. We need to ensure that students receive essential nutritional support. Currently 500 families receive food kits and large fresh produce box once a month from six different school distribution sites.