EL CENTRO â€“ The Imperial Valley Food Bankâ€™s Weekend Backpack Program received a grant of $10,000 from Rabobank, N.A. August 15, according to a press release from the Imperial Valley Food Bank office.
The Weekend Backpack Program aims to help feed local children who may not have access to food over the weekends. For many children, the meals served during school days may be their only food for the day. When the weekend comes around, these children are left hungry and return to school malnourished, lethargic, and unable to concentrate, the press release stated. This could lead to poor school performance and a variety of other social and behavioral problems, said the release.
At the beginning of the school year, the Imperial Valley Food Bank prepares over 700 backpacks filled with kid-friendly, easy-to-eat food and distributes them discreetly at over 40 schools across the Imperial County. The backpacks are then refilled with food every Friday so that kids facing hunger over the weekend will not have to worry where their meals come from.
According to the release, Rabobankâ€™s gift is timely and much-needed as now is the time of year the Food Bank purchases food for the backpacks. They estimate there are over 2,400 homeless and “food insecure” children in schools all over Imperial County, yet this program serves only 700. Even so, the food bank struggles with operating costs. The goal of the Weekend Backpack Program is to alleviate child hunger for all schoolchildren in the Valley, but cannot do so without funding and support from the community and other organizations, such as Rabobank, the release said.
In the release, the Imperial Valley Food Bank, expressed gratitude towards Rabobank, N.A. for its generous contribution to the fight against childhood hunger in Imperial County.
The Imperial Valley Food Bank would also like to ask the public if anyone would like to make a donation towards the Weekend Backpack Program to please call 760-370-0485 or mail a donation to:Â Imperial Valley Food Bank,Â 329 Applestill Road, El Centro, 92243