The Second Harvest’s BackPack program helps to feed kids over the weekend

The Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank’s BackPack program helping to serve our youth

The BackPack program is a free weekly service to make sure kids don't go hungry over the weekend.

The Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank’s BackPack program helps to serve kids specifically here in the Northland.

This is a free and confidential service that Second Harvest offers to kids throughout the Northland. Faculty at Stowe Elementary say that the service is imperative for students. Monica Hallfrisch is one of the faculty members.

“We send out a form to every child in the school, this is not income based. This is solely if you need it, you can have it. Parents fill out a form and send it back to us and then we put them on a list, very confidential. On Friday afternoons, we go around to the kids who ask for them, and we put them in their backpacks, in their lockers.”

New legislation in Minnesota makes sure that kids are fed Monday through Friday, but when they go home for the weekend, food may not be secure. Volunteers first pack the food into individual bags, then bring the food from the food bank to the appropriate school.

At Stowe Elementary, Hallfrisch says they have around 60 students signed up for the program. Russ Maron is a volunteer and says “it’s kind of heartwarming to see that, knowing that you’re helping those kids out.” With the rising cost of food, programs like this are critical.

If you would like to help support the Northern Lakes Food Bank or become a volunteer, visit the Second Harvest website to learn more.