By: Kristin T. Seaks, LBSW, School Social Worker at Heart River and Jefferson Elementary
How does it feel for a child to open the refrigerator or cupboards and see no food? What does it feel like for a parent to have no means to buy food for their children or transportation to get to the local food pantry? These are the struggles that many families in our community have faced. Struggles that members of the Dickinson BackPack Program heard (and still sometimes do) about from children and families in Dickinson Public Schools prior to starting the program 8 years ago.
For those of you who may not know, the Dickinson BackPack Program is an all-volunteer run food program meant to help alleviate childhood hunger. We strive to do this by providing every child in the program with a bag of food to take home on weekends and during school breaks. These food packs contain items such as mac and cheese, soup, fruit juice, fruit cups, cereal, oatmeal and a variety of other snack items such as sunflower seeds, crackers, and fruit bars. The food packs are placed into children’s backpacks to be taken home at the end of the week. The program distributes food packs during the school year at the individual DPS schools, and during the summer at St. John Lutheran Church.
Since the program began distributing 107 food packs to DPS students in January, 2014, to the present, when we now have over 400 DPS children in the program, the Dickinson BackPack Program, along with its hundreds of volunteers and donors have been committed to providing weekly food packs to children who struggle with food insecurity.
If you are interested in learning more about the Dickinson BackPack Program or would like to volunteer, please check out our Facebook page, Dickinson BackPack Program, or contact Kristin Seaks at 701-590-0134.