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The BackPack Program is designed to meet the needs of hungry children at times when other resources are not available, such as weekends and school vacations. Backpacks are filled with food that children can take home on the weekends. The food is child-friendly, nonperishable and easily consumed. The backpacks are discreetly distributed to children on the last day before the weekend or holiday vacation.

More than 21 million children qualify for free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program and the National School Breakfast Program. For many of these children, school meals may be the only meals they eat. What happens when they go home over the weekend?

For more than 15 years, the Feeding America BackPack Program has been helping children get the nutritious and easy-to-prepare food  they need to get enough to eat on the weekends. Today, bags of food are assembled at more than 160 local food banks and then distributed to more than 450,000 children at the end of the week.