Blessings in a Backpack Floyd County
Ending hunger on the weekends to help our students return to school on Monday ready for success.
Blessings in a Backpack Floyd County fills a need not covered by other community food programs by putting the food directly in the hands of the children who need it. In 2017, 15.6% of children in Floyd County experienced food insecurity. Blessings in a Backpack Floyd County works directly to address food insecurity on the weekends for Pre-K through 5th grade students across the Floyd County School district. Our primary goal continues to be ensuring students in need don’t go hungry over the weekend and can return to school Monday ready to learn. We also work to raise awareness about childhood hunger in our community. Blessings in Backpack Floyd County continues to provide food every weekend to cover the entirety of the school year, including breaks. We continued to provide food to students during the recent school closures due to Covid-19 as well to ensure our students residing in food insecure homes continued to have food on the weekends.
The Blessings in a Backpack Floyd County program is completely self-funded and 100% of funds raised goes directly to covering the cost of food given to the students each weekend. Although Blessings in a Backpack Floyd County is part of the national Blessings in a Backpack organization, we do not receive any direct funding from that entity. Receiving this grant would cover the cost of food for approximately 238 students to participate for the entire 2020-2021 school year with the budgeted cost of $105 per student. During the previous school year, our program saw an increase in participants by 42% with an increase across our elementary schools and expanding to 5th grade in our middle schools. Our program anticipates an increase in participants for this coming school year as well. The grant would allow our program to continue to address food insecurity among Floyd County students.
The impact of this grant would be substantial to our community for years to come. Hungry children tend to have worse physical and mental health and can experience negative impacts to their academic success. These health effects contribute to an increase risk for delays in cognitive development. Students from food insecure homes are more likely to repeat a grade than their peers from food secure homes. Adolescents who experience childhood hunger or food insecurity are more likely to experience mental health disorders, including depression and suicidal thoughts. This grant would allow our program to continue to directly address food insecurity within our school district and Floyd County. Surveys completed by the national Blessings in a Backpack office found 78% of participants feel cared for by their community, 60% of participants reported fewer behavioral issues, 60% of participants report their school attendance improved, and 59% of participants found it easier to learn at school.