For many children in our community, the safety net provided by school meals disappears over the weekend. Unfortunately, the resources available to at-risk children are significantly lower during these breaks from school than during the week.
- In Clay and Platte county Missouri, there are an estimated 1,000 elementary-aged children who do not have consistent access to the nutritious food they need over school breaks to live healthy, active lives. One in seven children in the Northland live in a food insecure home.
- Among elementary children in the Northland, 30 percent receive free and reduced price meals. At some schools, that number is as high as 100 percent. Many of these children are relying on government assistance to provide two meals a day during the week, breakfast and lunch, meals that they do not have access to over the weekend. Feed Northland Kids combats this problem by partnering with Harvesters – The Community Food Network to support the BackSnack program for children in need in Clay and Platte counties.
- School staff identifies the children with the greatest need. The behavior that school staff looks for includes extreme hunger on Monday mornings, rushing food lines, stealing food or saving food for later.
- Forty seven elementary schools in all nine school districts north of the river participate in this program. In many schools, 3 or 4 children within each classroom will qualify for and receive a BackSnack, each Friday before they leave school.